A paper presented by COSMOS director Dr. Nitin Agarwal, and co-authored by Muhammad Nihal Hussain, Kiran Kumar Bandeli, Serpil Tokdemir, and Samer Al-khateeb, has been selected for the best paper award during the eighth international conference on Social Media Technologies, Communication, and Informatics (SOTICS 2018), held in Nice, France, in October 2018. Titled “Understanding Digital Ethnography: Socio-computational Analysis of Trending YouTube Videos,” the paper’s authors have been recognized with the best paper award four years in a row. The paper describes the team’s research on behavioral analysis of YouTube’s digital societies.  The researchers studied the top 200 YouTube videos trending daily for a 40-day period separately in the United States of America (USA) andRead More →

This week, Cosmographer Karen Watts successfully defended her Capstone II project.  She developed the Employee Website for Internal Operational Information for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. When Karen started working on the new website, the existing UAEX.edu site was not user-friendly for all audiences. Extension employees, one of UAEX’s largest audiences, found the site confusing and had a hard time finding content because it had been designed with external clientele in mind. “Separating employee content into its own website was necessary to streamline employee user experience so they could find internal resources more quickly and efficiently,” said Karen Watts, an Information ScienceRead More →

Dr. Nitin Agarwal was invited to conduct a panel on Emerging Digital Services in Cyber Environments during the IARIA Eighth International Conference on Social Media Technologies, Communication, and Informatics (SOTICS 2018) in Nice, France. On Tuesday, October 16, Dr. Agarwal moderated the panel that featured subject matter experts from the Institute of Information Systems at Hof University (GER), Paraíba State University (BRA), Politehnica University of Bucharest (ROU), and University of Gloucestershire (UK).Read More →

Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Information Science and director of the Collaboratorium of Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies (COSMOS), was inducted as a fellow of the Arkansas Academy of Computing for his contributions to computing in Arkansas on Nov. 2 in Fayetteville. “It is an honor to be recognized as a fellow of the Arkansas Academy of Computing,” Agarwal said. “I am looking forward to collaborating with the great thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and computational scientists to advance the discipline of computing and contribute towards innovation in the state of Arkansas.” Founded in 2006, the Arkansas Academy of ComputingRead More →

COSMOS director Dr. Nitin Agarwal in collaboration with Kiran Kumar Bandeli has shown how blogs act as virtual spaces where malicious narratives are framed and then further disseminated through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.  The paper titled “Examining Strategic Integration of Social Media Platforms in Disinformation Campaign Coordination“ published in NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence‘s Defence Strategic Communication Journal describes the in-depth examination of information networks, using social network analysis and cyber forensics, to identify prominent information actors and the leading coordinators of several disinformation campaigns.Read More →

As almost 400 attendees gathered at the 2018 NATO Information Communicators’ Conference (NICC) in Rome this September, Ph.D. fellow Katrin Galeano represented COSMOS to showcase the emerging technologies Blogtrackers and YouTubeTracker. The annual conference invited communication professionals from within NATO as well as academia and industry to discuss tools and strategies for Information Environment Assessment (IEA), the theme of this year’s conference.   Mrs. Galeano was invited to the NICC to demonstrate technologies developed by COSMOS during the workshop sessions held on Thursday, September September 20.  As one of only 51 presenters from NATO, industry and academia from all NATO member states, she presented COSMOS’Read More →

COSMOS team members Karen Watts and Michael DiCicco have made winning hackathons a hobby of sorts. On September 29th, 2018, Karen and Michael along with Brenda Nyangweso formed a team named sudoIntellectual that went up against 21other teams at the UA Blockchain Hackathon and emerged as winners of the J.B. Hunt Use Case challenge. Blockchain technology is the biggest buzzword in the recent times. It rose to prominence in 2009 as the technology that underpins bitcoin. Blockchain is a public ledger for every transaction that might take place between two or more parties. Today, there is a growing interest in making use of this distributed,Read More →

Moving from a humanities discipline as an undergraduate into a STEM field for graduate school was not exactly easy. I am hesitant to recommend this academic trajectory generally, but have found that my undergraduate training in the humanities has been a great source of help, even in a field that seems completely unrelated. When I first started college, I had no idea what subject I wanted to major in. I had just decided to switch from an out-of-state school, where I had been accepted into their music composition program, to a smaller in-state school after deciding against music composition. In my first semester, I tookRead More →

When I began my studies at UA Little Rock, pursuing a PhD degree was not even on my radar. During the last year of my master’s studies, I joined Dr. Agarwal‘s team and started learning about malicious social bots and the dangers they pose to society. Believe it or not, I truly enjoyed exploring this area of research. Dr. Agarwal advised me to explore the PhD program. I spoke to my family about my decision to pursue a higher degree and they couldn’t be more proud. My mother said, “You will be the first PhD in our family and you have my full support. ItRead More →