Mladen Kolar, a PhD student in the Machine Learning Department, is one of five doctoral students nationwide and one of two from Carnegie Mellon University, to be named an inaugural Facebook Fellow.
Leslie John, a PhD student at CMU in social and decision sciences, also is one of the inaugural fellows and, like Kolar, will receive paid tuition and fees, a $30,000 stipend, conference travel and other benefits for the 2010-2011 academic year. Other winners were from the University of California at Irvine, the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Washington.
"We started this program because the academic community plays a central role in addressing many of our most challenging research questions on topics ranging from cloud and social computing to Internet economics and machine learning," said Greg Badros, director of engineering at Facebook. "Our first class of fellows include students researching crowdsourced online help, the structure of networks, information disclosure, online advertising and data analysis."
Kolar, a graduate of Croatia's University of Zagreb in electrical engineering and computing, is studying the structure of networks and how they change and evolve over time. He has looked at how legislators' positions and interactions have changed based on voting records and reverse engineered how genes regulate each other over time.
"Much of my research has focused on models for networks, which are simple, yet powerful tools for capturing relationships among individuals," Kolar told Facebook. "Networks help us answer some of the fundamental questions of interest, such as: 'What role(s) do individuals play when they interact with different peers?' and 'How do social groups form and dissolve as a response to external stimuli?' "
For more information, see the Facebook Blog at http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=381538997130
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