Welcome to my homestead on the web. I am a post-doctoral research fellow in computational social science with David Lazer at Northeastern University. My research there examines how social media like Twitter and Wikipedia can be used to improve predictive models of electoral success as well as performing small group experiments using Facebook.
I defended my Ph.D. in the Media, Technology, and Society program at Northwestern University’s School of Communication in September 2012. My dissertation examined the dynamic networks and novel roles which support Wikipedia’s rapid coverage of breaking news events like natural disasters, technological catastrophes, and political upheaval.
I use methods in network analysis, multilevel statistics, simulation, and content analysis. My research employs a variety of large-scale behavioral data sets such as Wikipedia article revision histories, massively-multiplayer online game behavioral logs, and user interactions in a crowd-sourced T-shirt design community. I am interested in developing statistical models to understand the structure and dynamics of complex networks and activity bursts in online communities as well as how network structure influence organizational behavior.
I was born in Oregon and grew up outside Las Vegas, Nevada. I attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Science, Technology, and Society in 2006. At Northwestern, I was jointly advised by Noshir Contractor and Darren Gergle. I also worked extensively with Dmitri Williams at USC and Jaideep Srivastava at Minnesota on virtual worlds-related projects and I am an affiliated researcher with NinjaMetrics commercializing this research. I currently live in Cambridge, Massachusetts with my wife who is a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab.
The header image is from my dissertation research and shows Wikipedia editors’ interactions on articles. Editors are grey circles and they are connected if one modifies the other’s revisions across two or more articles. Redder connections indicate these interactions happen on newly-created articles about current news events and bluer connections indicate these interactions happen on older articles about historical events. The cluster of greenish and yellowish activity reflects a specific community of editors revising a mix of current and historical articles about hurricanes. The visualization was done on Gephi.
You can contact me at bkeegan ATSIGN gmail DOT com