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 →

Briefly, introducing myself here. I am Kiran Kumar Bandeli, a doctoral candidate in Information Science and work with COSMOS as a Graduate Research Assistant. I am part of several research and development projects. I am in a phase where I am working on my dissertation proposal. I am hopeful that I can graduate at the end of spring or summer 2019.   So, what do I do in the COSMOS lab? I can definitely say, I wear several hats as part of my work schedule. One such role is Teaching Assistant (TA) for Dr. Agarwal’s courses, where I switch gears from being a student toRead More →

Please allow me to introduce myself to you; I am Rita Chowdhury a full-time, second-year MBA student at the UA Little Rock College of Business and a Graduate Research Assistant at COSMOS – a research team in the Department of Information Science. Apart from that I am currently a student member of the Joe T. Ford Investment Fund at the College of Business. Many a time the introduction makes way for numerous questions. Much like why am I in an Information Science research team? What might I be doing? How did I make it to the team? Do I have an engineering undergraduate degree? IfRead More →

  This week cosmographer Zachary Stine presented his paper “Agent-based models for assessing social influence strategies” at the 9th International Conference on Complex Systems hosted by the New England Complex Systems Institute in Cambridge, MA. It is a unique interdisciplinary forum that unifies and bridges the traditional domains of science and a multitude of real-world systems. The conference was held from July 22 – 27 in Cambridge, MA. The paper has been published in the conference’s proceedings available here: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-96661-8_14 Stine, the lead author of the paper, is a Ph.D. student in Computer & Information science at UA Little Rock. Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor ofRead More →

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 →

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 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 →