Center Events

Warren Center Lecture: Matthew Jackson

March 3, 2015 | Wu & Chen Auditorium, 101 Levine Hall

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

3:00 pm in Wu and Chen Auditorium, 101 Levine Hall

Title: Gossip: Identifying Central Individuals in Networks and Diffusion Processes

Abstract: How can we identify the most influential nodes in a network for initiating diffusion? Are people able to easily identify those people in their communities who are best at spreading information, and if so, how? Using theory and recent data, we examine these questions and see how the structure of social networks affects information transmission ranging from gossip to the diffusion of new products. In particular, a model of diffusion is used to define centrality and shown to nest other measures of centrality as extreme special cases. Then it will be shown that by tracking gossip within a network, nodes can easily learn to rank the centrality of other nodes without knowing anything about the network itself.  The theoretical predictions are consistent with data from rural India.

Bio: Matthew O. Jackson is the William D. Eberle Professor of Economics at Stanford University and an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute and a senior fellow of CIFAR. He was at Northwestern University and Caltech before joining Stanford, and received his BA from Princeton University in 1984 and PhD from Stanford in 1988. Jackson’s research interests include game theory, microeconomic theory, and the study of social and economic networks, on which he has published many articles and the book `Social and Economic Networks’. He also teaches an online course on networks and co-teaches two others on game theory. Jackson is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Game Theory Society Fellow, and an Economic Theory Fellow, and his other honors include the von Neumann Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Social Choice and Welfare Prize, the B.E.Press Arrow Prize for Senior Economists, and teaching awards. He has served as co-editor of Games and Economic Behavior, the Review of Economic Design, and Econometrica.