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Professors Help U.S. Army With Social Media Networks Research

By Molly Johnson for Indiana Daily Student:

IU statistics professor Stanley Wasserman points at the map of the “Celebrity Twitter Ecosystem” from the New York Times that he has tacked to his bulletin board. “Networks are hot,” he says.

Social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, have pervaded almost every aspect of our society –they help us make friends, get jobs, and now, thanks to a new military effort, they could help us catch terrorists.

The project, sponsored by the U.S. Army, will urge researchers, including two professors at IU, to come up with new ways to analyze data surrounding networks. The project is designed to aid military operations, including anti-terrorism efforts, and to explain how knowledge is spread between peers in the modern military, according to the IU press release.

“They want to be able to understand networks better, all kinds of networks,” said Wasserman, one of the IU professors on the team.

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US Army Corps Blamed for Katrina Floods

From BBC News:

A US judge has ruled that negligence by the US Army Corps of Engineers led to massive floods in parts of New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

The court upheld complaints by six residents and a business against the Corps over its maintenance of a navigational channel.

They were awarded damages totalling $720,000 (£431,000), and the ruling could lead to thousands more claims.

About 80% of New Orleans was flooded by Hurricane Katrina.

More than 1,800 people died on the US Gulf coast in the devastating storms.

The Corps is responsible for maintaining a system of canals and earthworks that protect New Orleans from storm surges.

US district judge Stanwood Duval ruled “negligent failure” to maintain the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet – a shipping channel – had led to flooding in the city’s Lower 9th Ward and nearby St Bernard Parish.

[Read more at BBC News]

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