Cell phones, social networks, and public health

Jukka-Pekka Onnela, Havard (Biostatistics at School of Public Health)
Cell phones are now ubiquitous: it is estimated that the number of phones in use exceeds the size of the global population in 2015. Our recent and ongoing work uses call detail records (CDRs) to investigate the structure of large-scale social networks and their relationship to underlying geography. A parallel approach, one that generates richer data, is based on instrumenting a cohort of subjects with a customized smartphone application. This enables the collection of both "active data" (such as implementing traditional surveys on the phone) as well as "passive data" (such as deriving behavioral data from phone sensors). I will talk about some of our work that utilizes these two approaches, what types of insights they may yield to the study of social networks and behavior, and how this work interfaces with public health. Finally, I will highlight some results from our ongoing work with psychiatric outpatients.
October, 6 2014 | 12:30 - 14:00 | 230E Gross Hall

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