Researchers at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock are studying how social bots influence the delivery of news via social media during major disasters.  The study examines the role of social bots – automated Twitter accounts that attempt to affect or influence the behaviors of others – and their coordination and communication patterns with complex organizational structures to disseminate information during four natural disasters that occurred in 2017. The paper, “Analyzing Social Bots and their Coordination during Natural Disasters,” will be discussed at the SBP BRiMS 2018 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation to be heldRead More →

The winners of the 2018 Student Research and Creative Works Showcase at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock were announced during an awards ceremony May 1 in the Student Services Center. Students presented more than 150 research and creative works April 12 in the Jack Stephens Center. Student projects were judged on the novelty and clarity of their research, the soundness of their methodology, the potential application of their findings, and the student’s ability to explain their project to an expert and lay audience. COSMOS team members won the following: Technology (Graduate) First Place: Tuja Khaund and Samer Al-Khateeb. “Analyzing Social Bots and their Coordination duringRead More →

The George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology hosted its third annual Open House on Friday, April 27. Guests viewed student displays of capstone projects, theses, dissertations, and other research. COSMOS was well-presented by Tuja Khaund, Karen Watts and Adewale Obadimu who showcased their work and were presented with numerous awards: 1st Place Complete Solution: Tuja Khaund 2nd Professional Presentation: Karen Watts 2nd Place EIT Grad Award: Adewale Obadimu 3rd Place Arkansas Research Alliance: Adewale Obadimu      Read More →

Two University of Arkansas at Little Rock students are looking to make a name for themselves in the world of hackathons.  Michael DiCicco, sophomore information science major from Benton, and Karen Watts, senior information science major from Bryant, took home a big win as first place winners of CrimsonHacks, a Major League Hacking event held April 14-15 at the University of Alabama. DiCicco and Watts, working in conjunction with two students from the University of Alabama and Florida Institute of Technology, beat out 28 other teams for the top prize, a 3D printer, for their project, Tweety Wallet. They also won the Best Use of AmazonRead More →

In February, more than 409 million people read the over 20.8 billion pages posted on WordPress.com, a popular blogging platform. Blogging remains a popular form of online communication that is growing at an exponential rate, yet few researchers have grasped the potential of data mining the blogosphere for research purposes.  The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is among the very few universities in the country with a team and projects dedicated to researching blogs. One of the researchers heading this project is Muhammad Nihal Hussain, a fifth-year doctoral student in information science and a core researcher at COSMOS (Collaboratorium for Social Media and BehavioralRead More →

A group of researchers from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock are studying how the mass migration of refugees from Middle Eastern and North African countries into Europe has created a shift in the migrant narrative in online communication.  The paper, “Analyzing Shift in Narratives Regarding Migrants in Europe via Blogosphere,” has been accepted in the Text2Story18 workshop at the 40th annual European Conference on Information Retrieval, a premier conference in information retrieval, to be held March 26-29 in Grenoble, France. The lead author of the paper, Muhammad Nihal Hussain, a fifth-year doctoral student in information science and a researcher at COSMOS (Collaboratorium forRead More →

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor has co-authored a book with a UA Little Rock graduate analyzing how online communities and social media can provide stress relief for families and individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor of Information Science and director of COSMOS (Collaboratorium for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies), co-authored the book with Dr. Amit Saha, assistant professor of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. IGI Global, a leading international academic publisher, will launch the book, “Assessing Social Support and Stress in Autism-Focused Virtual Communities: Emerging Research and Opportunities,”Read More →

A group of University of Arkansas at Little Rock students has won the Best Paper Award from the International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA) for their paper studying blogs’ effect on the information flow of Venezuelan migration. Esther Mead, a doctoral student from Sheridan researching information science and information quality, was the lead author for the paper, “Assessing Situation Awareness through Blogosphere: A Case Study on Venezuelan Socio-Political Crisis and the Migrant Influx.” The paper explored how blogs disseminate information regarding social and political views and concerns of citizens within a community. As a case study, the researchers examined nearly 30,000 blog posts fromRead More →

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor has received $230,000 to help defend the United States against the use of social bots.  Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair of Information Science, received the grant to develop a socio-computational model for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to detect the online presence of social bots. These bots automatically generate messages that persuade social media users on particular issues, ideas, and campaigns. Agarwal is working with Intelligent Automation, Inc., a company based in Rockville, Maryland, that specializes in research and development for federal agencies and corporations in the United States. Agarwal willRead More →