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The Connected States of America maps communities

by: Alexandre Gerber, Deirdre W. Paul, James R. Rowland, and Christopher A. Rath, July 3, 2011

Borders—national, state, and city—exist for historical, geographic, cultural reasons. But how do they relate to communities people form through close interactions with others? As highlighted in a New York Times Op-Ed on Phone-call Cartography, researchers are using aggregated, anonymous cell phone data to map people’s self-formed communities and understand how they intersect with administrative borders.

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Graphing one billion Internet connections

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This striking image by Yifan Hu represents an Internet graph with over a billion connections. It may well be the first visualization of a billion-edge graph.

To lay out such a large graph requires the tailoring of a 64-bit version of sfdp. In addition, an OpenGL-based renderer is developed, which works in a streaming fashion to save memory. The next challenge: interacting with such a huge graph to make sense out of it.


Not for laughs: Tools of the adversarial reviewer

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A big part of life for any researcher is communicating ideas in the form of peer-reviewed scientific papers. The process of peer review is itself a topic for study.

In contrast to soberly written articles on how to write reviews (articles that aren’t much fun to read), Graham Cormode takes a different tack in a much-downloaded paper, outing the unfair and nasty techniques of the adversarial reviewer.


Alicia Abella appointed to presidential commission

Alicia Abella

The White House announced on May 26 the appointment of Alicia Abella to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Dr. Abella, long active in promoting STEM education for under-represented groups, will meet with other commission members over the next 18 months to advise the president on the best ways to boost Hispanic academic achievement.


Paper examines the decline of Myspace

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Myspace, the once popular social site, sold recently for $35 million, a fraction of the $435 million paid only five years ago. What happened?

A paper by Walter Willinger and co-authors Mojtaba Torkjazi and Reza Rejaie examines the decline of Myspace and the not-unrelated rise of Facebook, while posing the question whether the very success of such sites inevitably leads to users abandoning them for competitors more in fashion.


Maria Fernández recognized by HENAAC

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For contributions to computing and for her work in mentoring others, Maria F. Fernández has been recognized with an Outstanding Technical Achievement - Industry award from HENAAC/Great Minds in STEM, a non-profit organization focused on educational awareness of careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Dr. Fernández is executive director of distributed computing research at AT&T Labs - Research.


AT&T's optical research in Photonics Society News

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The latest issue of Photonics Society News contains an article on the ongoing research into optical systems being carried out at AT&T Labs - Research. It covers the department’s active areas of research, including technologies for high-speed coherent optical transmission, dynamic photonic networking, fiber characterization, optical access networks, and quantum communications.