Sunday, April 24, 2005

Mark Newman is Hot

I found Mark Newman's web page while tracking down some references on social network graphing algorithms, and was wowed by his list of pubs. I scanned through a bunch before finding the home page, noted he is quite cute, boggled he is in a Physics dept., and then saw he was one of the characters responsible for the widely linked to blue & red election results maps of the country.

Coolness AND attractiveness factors, ok; but back to the substance that convinced me I wanted to date him before I even saw his picture. He's applied his general network analysis algorithms to analysing wide ranging network data, from biological pathways to animal behavior to routes in cities to physics paper citations to web site linkage. The papers tend towards the math-full, but the points are pretty interesting nonetheless. And his math gives me hope I can crunch my enormous pile of LiveJournal network data into something tractable, eventually!

On his pubs list, look for the "Why social networks are different from other types of networks", "Finding community structure in very large networks" (in which they analyse buying patterns and find community-like structures), and the sweetest one, "Identifying the role that individual animals play in their social network," a study of dolphin communities.

Apparently one individual (SN100) acts as the broker between 2 dolphin groups. (Other dolphins had names like "fish" and "thumper"; so why couldn't SN100 get a real handle?) Dolphins hang with other similar dolphins, just like people do. Here, I'll make it easy to get to the dolphin story.

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