.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} Searching for the Moon
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by Shannon Clark
 

Friday, May 13, 2005


apophenia: identity crisis: the curse/joy of being interdisciplinary and the future of academia
apophenia: identity crisis: the curse/joy of being interdisciplinary and the future of academia

I made a long comment to Danah's post:

Danah,

I'm outside of academia but have just finished running MeshForum (http://www.meshforum.org) a conference on Networks where we made a lot of effort to bring together a truly wide range of academics, business people and government experts around multiple aspects of and views on Networks.

From this a few thoughts - I would argue that the growing study of and understanding of networks which has blossomed in the past 5 years represents a truly interdisciplinary and important development. Social scientists, physicists, economists, and dozens of other fields finding a common language and means of collaborating together to address very real and important problems.

At MeshForum we had a number of people who's careers illustate real work across disciplines:

- Dr. Anna Nagurney of U. Mass - Amherst. Dr. Nagurney is an economist but has professorships in both the school of management and the school of engineering. She has published and/or edited 8 books on Networks - including works specifically on transportation networks and Network Economics. Her talk at MeshForum brought together work from operational engineering, transportation, economics, and many other fields.

- Dr. Noshir Contracter, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Contractor is in the school of communications, but his research interests and works (over 250 papers and books) have been with researchers from many other fields.

- Dr. Eivind Almaas, University of Notre Dame. Dr. Almaas is a physicist but his research at Notre Dame in Dr. Albert-Lazlow Barabasi's lab is on biological networks. Dr. Barabasi's work (see his book Linked) includes studies of computer networks, social networks, and physical networks.

Just a few examples from speakers we had - our other speakers are also great examples.

My own interes (well one of them) is in studying economics through a lens of networks. To do this, I am learning as much as I can about networks in every context - social, physical, biological, technical etc. I expect to adapt techniques from many fields to address the issues I'm studying.

Hope this helps,

Shannon

5/13/2005 02:44:00 AM 0 comments links to this post
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Shannon John Clark (email me), b. 1974.

Male (to hold off the assumptions), currently in Chicago, IL.
I am active on many other forums and sites around the Internet. If I am online, feel free to Skype me.
You are also welcome to connect with me on Omidyar Networks on LinkedIn or Ryze.com and my blog on Ecademy or see more about me at MeshForum or my corporate site, JigZaw . I also maintain piecing IT together, as my corporate blog for JigZaw Inc.