On Friday, August 30th, doctoral student Zachary Stine presented research from an ongoing comparative study regarding online religious communities.  Stine and fellow researchers Dr. Nitin Agarwal and Dr. James Deitrick, used Reddit to try to understand the differences and similarities between the religious cultures Buddhism and Christianity by analyzing their discussion text for specific lexicons on a more structural level.   Stine described using topic modeling  in order to look at how both communities discuss certain topics. Buddhist and Christian communities were chosen simply because they had the largest amount of discussion text available. The researchers anticipated possible problems with this study, particularly the issue ofRead More →

As a graduate researcher, there is no shortage of unexpected experiences. Shishila Awung Shimray, Anol Kanti Roy, Abdullah Al Faysal and Richard Young along with the help of other Cosmographers recently had the opportunity to participate in this year’s EIT High School Summer Research Program. As the name suggests, this program is targeted towards highly motivated group of high school students that all are willing to “sacrifice” three weeks of their summer vacation in exchange for graduate-level experience. Our participation in this program took form by providing both skill-based mentorship and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it takes to be a member of COSMOS. Unfortunately, theRead More →

COSMOS is pleased to announce that its director Dr. Nitin Agarwal has been awarded a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of novel socio-computational methodologies to model emerging cyber-social threats and strengthen social cybersecurity research infrastructure. The funding will support the development of social media cells that assist with information environment assessment in real time and the rapid and appropriate response to the growing weaponization of social media in influencing peace keeping, tactical, operational, and strategic operations. Military units at all levels will benefit from the identification of threats and opportunities within the information environment (IE). Creating well-trained socialRead More →

On Thursday, April 18, students showcased their work at the Student Research and Creative Works Expo and EIT Open House. Guests viewed displays of capstone projects, theses, dissertations, and other research. COSMOS was well-presented by Kiran Kumar Bandeli, Nihal Hussain, Thomas Marcoux, Billy Spann, Richard Young, Michael DiCicco, Tuja Khaund, Karen Watts and Adewale Obadimu who showcased their work. Our team members were presented with numerous awards at the 2019 Student Research and Creative Works Expo Awards Ceremony and the EIT Open House Awards Ceremony: Student Research and Creative Works Expo – First Place: Zachary Stine Student Research and Creative Works Expo – Second Place: TujaRead More →

Ph.D. candidate Adewale (Wale) Obadimu participated in the 2019 CRA URMD Grad Cohort Workshop which took place March 22-23, 2019 in Waikoloa, Hawaii.  The two-day event was hosted by the Computing Research Association (CRA), an organization dedicated to bringing industry, government and academia together to support research and advanced education in computing. This year, the CRA Grad Cohort for Underrepresented Minorities and Persons with Disabilities (URMD) Workshop attracted twice the amount of participants than the inaugural workshop in 2018. CRA covered the travel expenses for all selected students that collectively represent a diverse set of computing-related research areas and institutions. 158 accepted applicants from 78Read More →

COSMOS director and Arkansas Research Alliance fellow Dr. Nitin Agarwal spoke about deviant online behavior at UA Little Rock Downtown on Wednesday, March 13.  This behavior includes, but is not limited to, deviant mobs of the Internet, disinformation campaigns, bots, trolls and computational propaganda techniques. Dr. Agarwal presented examples of how the spread of misinformation online affects the real world from fueling hatred that leads to violence to spreading incorrect medical information that will result in health risks. The spread of “fake news” can also influence voters, create confusion during disasters and cause hysteria of the masses.   Deviant online behavior spreads over many platforms.Read More →

Doctoral student Zachary Stine presented research about machine learning and the legislative evolution of Ukraine during the EIT Colloquium on March 1.  Stine and co-author Dr. Nitin Agarwal explored methods on how to quantify change in Ukrainian legislation over time in order to provide a complementary view into the larger political dynamics of the country. In order for the audience to understand the legislative evolution of Ukraine, Stine provided an overview of the recent political events. Since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine has gone through several political challenges.  The ongoing conflict with Russia became a global focal point when Russia annexedRead More →

Innovative ideas paired with the newest technology is an ideal match made right here in Little Rock, Arkansas. The ideas stem from Karen Watts, a COSMOS researcher and the new digital and innovation manager for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. She is using synergistic technology to improve farming. “I love learning about emerging technologies and I get to learn the newest technologies every day,” said Watts who draws similarities between her job and hackathons. “I look to see what works, develop a proof of concept and prototype the new technology for us. It’s going to put us ahead in innovation.” Watts hasRead More →

Each Friday, the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology Colloquium provides a forum for the presentation of research followed by a question and answer session with the guest speaker(s). This past Friday, COSMOS researchers Adewale Obadimu and Thomas Marcoux discussed ‘Social Media Analysis for Defeating Disinformation’. Doctoral candidate Adewale Obadimu introduced the Collaboratorium for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies to the audience in the room and online.  This particular Colloquium appeared to have had one of the highest online and in person attendances in sometime, with the interest of the topic driving participation. Adewale’s knowledge in machine learning and deep learning techniques hasRead More →

Don’t miss Friday’s Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology Colloquium. Adewale Obadimu and Thomas Marcoux will be discussing ‘Social Media Analysis for Defeating Disinformation’. Wale is a doctoral candidate currently exploring machine learning and deep learning techniques that can be used to understand an influence campaign. He does not only play a crucial role in the development of various COSMOS social media analytics tools but is also sharing his knowledge with other students here at COSMOS and in the classroom. Thomas is the lead developer for the YouTubeTracker tool. He is pursuing his Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science at University of Arkansas at LittleRead More →