Online social networks and e-commerce platforms are increasingly targeted by malicious actors with a wide variety of goals. Bots on Twitter may seek to illicitly influence opinion. Sock-puppet accounts on online discussion forums (e.g. discussion threads on online news articles) may help push certain points of view. Vandals on Wikipedia may seek to inject false material into otherwise legitimate pages. Review fraud in online forums may illicitly promote a product or destroy a competing product's reputation. In this talk, Professor Subrahmanian will discuss research on identifying malicious actors on different types of social/online platforms.
Professor Subrahmanian joined Dartmouth from the University of Maryland, where he built a career over three decades as a professor in the department of computer science and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, for which he served as director from 2003 to 2010; founding co-director of the Laboratory for Computational Cultural Dynamics; and founding director of the Center for Digital International Government. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and his research has been funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Army and Navy, among others.
A prolific scholar, Subrahmanian is author or coauthor of 140 peer-reviewed journal papers. In 2015, he published The Global Cyber-Vulnerability Report, an analysis of more than 20 billion reports generated by 4 million computers in 44 countries, and led a team that won DARPA’s Twitter Influence Bot Detection Challenge, a competition to develop means of identifying and eliminating propaganda-spreading automated social media accounts. His work has been featured in national media, including PBS’s Nova, NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, among other outlets. He received his doctorate from Syracuse University, and was awarded a National Science Foundation National Young Investigator Award and the Distinguished Young Scientist Award from the Maryland Science Center/Maryland Academy of Science.