New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

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Team: 81

School: Manzano High

Area of Science: Sociology

Interim: Project Definition:
In the 21st century, social networking has become a very prominent part of society. Looking at the definition of an epidemic; a rapid spread or increase in occurrence of something; the premise for my project is that if you have an idea, any idea good or bad, and you combine this idea with a social networking site, you will have an epidemic on your hands.
The purpose for my project is to observe how social networks are used on a daily basis and to observe how quickly information can travel throughout members of society and how fast they can travel across the planet as well. Observing trends in the way ideas spread from user to user on social networks can give us a way of tracking social influences and a way to monitor social responses.

Problem Solution:
To observe any trends in social networking I will create a model in Netlogo and attempt to recreate a social networking structure in the form of a web of connected turtles. I will incorporate probability and statistics that I will get off of the Internet. Based on these statistics the turtles in my model would determine whether they like or dislike the idea and decide whether or not to pass it on.

Progress to Date:
I started off by deciding that I would base my model on Facebook and use it as my baseline. So far I have gathered statistics from multiple sites on the popularity of different categories of ideas on Facebook and I have written the framework for my model in Netlogo. I have incorporated all of the categories into my model and randomized how the turtles will respond to the ideas. I still need to incorporate the statistics into my model and refine my model. I have also turned the code that I have into a 3D model in Netlogo 3D.

Expected Results:
When I am finished with my 2D model I expect to have a fully functioning “Social Network” of turtles who can spread ideas throughout the world. I would also like to have a 3D model as well. I would hope to find some very interesting trends among how the different ideas travel throughout my network. If Possible I would like to rewrite my model in another programming language such as python or Java.

Inside Facebook pages. Sysomos. November 2009. November 2013.
Top 100 Facebook fan pages. Fan Page List. November 2013.

Team Members:

  Brendyn Toersbijns

Sponsoring Teacher: Stephen Schum

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