See the calendar on the right for the full schedule.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Computer Science Talk May be of Interest to COPS Members

Can Couch Potatoes be Collaborators?
Dr. Venugopal Vasudevan - Motorola Applied Research
Monday May 9th 1-3 pm
Location: CETI Lab Caldwell 400

Content and communication have converged towards collaborative media
– where media rather than people are the objects around which
collaborations & conversations are centered. The device and group
dynamics around collaborative media have similarly broadened: from
highly capable devices to pervasive devices (e.g. TV & mobile) and
from small, strongly connected groups to large collaborative groups
of people with weak inter-personal ties. This talk will address some
of the experiences and challenges in delivering a collaborative media
experience to pervasive devices such as TV and multi-screen
collaborative media. We will address the systems challenges in
scaling these experiences across large user populations, and creating
coherent crowdsourced experiences across large user populations.


Dr. Venu Vasudevan is senior director of the Betaworks, an incubator
within Motorola's Applied Research with responsibility for
identifying technologically differentiating and commercially viable
opportunities in the spaces of mobile & pervasive computing, and
social media. Prior to this, Venu directed the Software Platforms Lab
with research focus on applying distributed computing technologies to
efficient and scalable media delivery architectures for advancing
television and mobile platforms – including several key Motorola
initiatives in the mobile/pervasive media space.

Venu holds a PhD from The Ohio State University, and has co-authored
over 50 papers in journals and international conferences, and is a
member of Motorola’s Science Advisory Board.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Quest for "Significance" in Social Science

Referred by a Monkey Cage post (prominent political science blog) I wanted to bring people's attention to a new article in the journal European Political Science critiquing how many social scientists search for and interpret "significance."

Determinants of Age in Europe: A Pooled Multilevel Nested Hierarchical Time-Series Cross-Sectional Model
Uchen Bezimenia, European Political Science (2011) 10, 86–91
Age is often found to be associated with a plenitude of socioeconomic, politico-administrative, biological and thanatological variables. Much less attention has been paid by scholars, however, to explaining ‘age’. In this paper we address this unfortunate scientific lacuna by developing a model of ‘age’ as a function of several factors suggested by (post)rational choice and social constructionist theories. Using state-of-the-art multilevel statistical techniques, our analysis allows the determinants of age to vary with the institutional characteristics of European countries. Our findings convincingly show that generalized trust in strangers, support for incumbent extremist political parties in provincial elections held in the month of January, and the percentage of overqualified women in the cafeterias of national parliaments are all statistically significant explanations of ‘age’. Our findings have obvious implications for conspiracy theorists, organizational advisors, spin doctors and ordinary charlatans.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Subscribing to the COPS email list

Now you can subscribe to the COPS email list on the Web. Just point your browser here: