James A. Little Theater
Community Event
Speaker: 
Alex Pentland

Ties that Bind: The Goodness of Social Networks

Social networks have proven to be fertile ground for understanding human behavior. This fascinating exploration suggests that we’re much more motivated by social incentives that reward others than by economic self-interest alone. Pentland discusses how studying patterns of information exchange in a social network – even without any knowledge of the actual content – can help us predict with stunning accuracy how productive and effective that network is.

AuthorsAlex Pentland

Social networks have proven to be fertile ground for understanding human behavior. This fascinating exploration suggests that we’re much more motivated by social incentives that reward others than by economic self-interest alone. Pentland discusses how studying patterns of information exchange in a social network – even without any knowledge of the actual content – can help us predict with stunning accuracy how productive and effective that network is.

Alex Pentland is the Toshiba Professor of Media, Arts, and Sciences at MIT and was named one of the world’s seven most powerful data scientists by Forbes in 2011. Pentland’s latest book is Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread – The Lessons from a New Science.

SFI’s Community Lecture series is generously sponsored by Thornburg Investment Management.

Purpose: 
SFI Community Lecture
SFI Host: 
Luis Bettencourt

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