derek ruths || network dynamics


If you arrived here via the Wired article about my Star Wars character analysis, continue on to my extended blog post, which includes the full character mapping, data, and code.

I’m an associate professor in the School of Computer Science at McGill University where I run the Network Dynamics Lab.

In my research, I’m interested in using data to measure and predict large-scale human behavior.

Recent News

2016.03.05 – Wired covered my analysis of Star Wars character interactions

"A New Hope" and "Force Awakens" felt very similar. I looked at the character interaction networks for the two movies to see how similar those were. The results surprised me and forever changed the way I understand those movies. Wired Magazine picked up my analysis! More details here!

2016.02.27 – Paper on Reddit 2015 “exodus” accepted to ICWSM 2016

In summer 2015, Reddit was at the center of multiple controversies, resulting in many members quite vocally calling for mass exodus from the platform. We conducted an in-depth analysis of the resulting migration. Congratulations to everyone in the lab who made the paper happen!

2016.02.26 – Analysis of online book reviewing accepted to ICWSM 2016

We conducted a careful analysis to understand the difference between book reviews written on Goodreads vs. Amazon. Congratulations to Stefan and Edward!

2015.12.20 – Paper on priming in crowd sourcing accepted to CHI ’16

Congratulations to Edward whose paper on the priming effects of crowd sourcing task design was accepted to CHI 2016!

2015.11.20 – Visit @ Cornell Tech

Spoke about my work at Facebook on modeling patterns of human migration using online data. Thanks to Mor Naaman for coordinating my visit!