Mucha, Shai & Taylor present at MBI workshop

A big thank you to all of the organizers of this week’s workshop at MBI on Generalized Network Structures & Dynamics. It was a pleasure to interact with so many colleagues and friends. And we’re grateful that we had the opportunity to present three different presentations. Mucha opened the workshop with an overview talk on “Communities in Multilayer Networks.” Dr. Saray Shai spoke on “Generalized network representations of multimodel transportation systems.” And Dr. Dane Taylor presented our work on “Contagion maps for examining spreading processes on networks.”

Photo credits go to Saray, with apologies that it means we don’t have any photos of her giving her talk!



Taylor receives Postdoctoral Scholar Award for Research Excellence

A big congratulations to postdoctoral associate Dr. Dane Taylor for being named as one of the 10 recipients of this year’s Postdoctoral Scholar Award for Research Excellence from the UNC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. For context, there are approximately 1,000 postdocs at UNC at any given time, so this is an incredibly competitive honor for Dane, recognizing his many scientific accomplishments. The awards “are designed to assist postdoctoral scholars in their continued professional development” and include both a plaque and a monetary award.

As part of today’s awards ceremony, Dane gave a great short talk about some of his work in the mathematical analysis of cascades on networks. Not only was I proud of him for winning the award, but many attendees commented to me about how much they enjoyed his talk, commending him for making his presentation accessible and interesting.

Congratulations Dane!

Bring the noise

In a wonderfully titled research highlight in Nature Physics, Abigail Klopper discusses our recent publication “Topological data analysis of contagion maps for examining spreading processes on networks” (also available on our Networks reprints page).

Led by postdoctoral associate Dane Taylorcontagions, our former summer Fulbright visitor Florian Klimm, and working with collaborators at Oxford and Rutgers, we study the spread of contagions on networks using tools of topological data analysis and nonlinear dimension reduction. Focusing on a specific model of complex contagions, we explore the settings under which the contagion spreads by wavefront propagation versus spread by the appearance of new clusters.

Congratulations to Dane, Flo, and all involved.

Postdoc activities at SIAM DS15

Congratulations to Drs. Nishant Malik, Saray Shai and Dane Taylor for their successful minisymposium organizations and presentations at this week’s SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems (DS15).

Nishant organized a twopart minisymposium on Complex Network Theory Based Approaches in the Analyses of Complex Systems and Data, kicked off Wednesday morning by his presentation on the Role of Network Topology in Collective Opinion Formation and closed out Wednesday afternoon by Saray’s presentation on Revealing Collectivity in Evolving Networks: A Random Matrix Theory Approach.

Dane spoke Sunday morning on Topological Data Analysis for and with Contagions on Networks in a session on Dynamics on Networks and Network Topology in Ecology and Epidemiology, before hosting the minisymposium he organized on Structural and Functional Network Dynamics and Inference on Monday morning.


Dr. Nishant Malik speaks in the minisymposium he organized at SIAM DS15

Group invasion of SIAM NS15

Our research group has descended upon the SIAM NS15 workshop on Network Science, co-located this year with the dynamical systems meeting at Snowbird, outside Salt Lake City. Held over two days, this year’s Network Science workshop includes 21 single-track contributed talks selected through a competitive process and 27 posters across two sessions, including 3 talks and 3 posters from our research group. (Full disclosure: Mucha was on the organizing committee for the workshop, but had no say in the selection of any of our group work.)

Postdoctoral associate Dane Taylor is speaking on “Contagions for Topological Data Analysis of Networks,” in collaboration with Florian Klimm, Heather Harrington, Miroslav Kramar, Konstantin Mischaikow, Mason Porter, and Peter Mucha.

Graduate student Sam Heroy is presenting his work on “Network Representations of Mechanical Percolation,” in collaboration with Taylor, group alumnus Feng “Bill” Shi, Greg Forest, and Mucha.

Graduate student Hsuan-Wei “Wayne” Lee is speaking on “Social Clustering in Epidemic Spread on Coevolving Networks,” in collaboration with postdoctoral associate Nishant Malik, Shi, and Mucha.

Presenting posters about their research are graduate student Alexis Sparko, postdoctoral associate Saray Shai, and Malik (describing recent work of his with undergraduate student David Spencer).

Meanwhile, postdoctoral associates Malik, Shai & Taylor will each also be busy presenting and organizing minisymposia at the dynamical systems meeting later in the week.

Congratulations to all for so strongly representing the research group!


Group members Saray Shai, Alexis Sparko and Sam Heroy pose in a photo designed to make very hungry the group members who didn’t make the trip to the workshop.

SIAM Workshop on Network Science

The second SIAM Workshop on Network Science (NS14) this week included a strong presence from our group.

The newest member of the group, postdoctoral associate Dr. Saray Shai, kicked off the two-day meeting with a talk about her previous work on “Multiplex cities: the interplay between coupled transportation networks.”

Dr. Feng “Bill” Shi (postdoctoral associate at U. Chicago) gave a presentation on “Coevolution of network dynamics and structures,” including his published work from his Carolina graduate work and new extensions that have continued in collaboration with our group.

Postdoctoral associate Dr. Dane Taylor presented a poster on “Optimal synchronization of complex networks.”

Malik and Taylor at NetSci 2014

Postdoctoral associates Dr. Nishant Malik and Dr. Dane Taylor both participated in this week’s greater NetSci conference activities.

On Monday, June 2nd, Dane presented his work on “Causal network inference by optimal causation entropy” in the NetSci satellite Statistical Inference for Network Models.

On Tuesday, June 3rd, Nishant presented on “Social environment and social clustering in collective opinion formation on co-evolving networks” in the NetSci satellite Information, Self-organization and Synchronization on Complex Networks (ISODS). This satellite was co-organized by Dane Taylor, along with Jie Sun and Sebastian Skardal.

Then on Thursday, June 5th, Dane presented on “Complex contagion on noisy geometric networks” in a NetSci parallel session on Spreading Processes.

Mucha and Taylor at SAMSI CMSS transition workshop

The SAMSI program year on Computational Methods in Social Sciences comes to a close this week with a Transition Workshop, co-organized by Mucha. As part of this workshop, postdoctoral associate Dr. Dane Taylor presented his work on “Complex contagion on noisy geometric networks.”

Taylor presents poster at IMA

Postdoctoral associate Dr. Dane Taylor presented a poster on “Complex Contagion on Noisy Geometric Networks” at the Topology and Geometry of Networks and Discrete Metric Spaces workshop at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

Presentations at Network Frontier Workshop

Postdoctoral associate Dr. Dane Taylor, former graduate student Dr. Feng Shi, and Mucha all participated at the Network Frontier Workshop held this week at the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems.

  • Mucha’s invited talk was titled “Time-Dependent Generalizations of Hub and Authority Scores”.
  • Taylor contributed a talk titled “Dynamics in Hybrid Complex Systems of Switches and Oscillators”.
  • Shi presented a poster, “Hypergraph Representations of the Social World,” about some of his recent work as part of the Metaknowledge Network.

Thank you to the organizers for putting on a very enjoyable workshop.