The Edmund R. Michalik Distinguished Lecture Series in the Mathematical Sciences

We are pleased to announce that our 2023 Michalik Lecture will be given by Professor Mason Porter. The doors for the event will open at 3 PM. Following the talk a reception will be held in Ballroom B after the talk has concluded until 5:30 PM.

Title: Mathematical Modeling of Opinion Dynamics on Social Networks


I will discuss the modeling of opinion dynamics on social networks. I will start by introducing some general questions and ideas in the modeling of social dynamics. I will then focus on bounded-confidence models (BCMs) of opinion dynamics. In a BCM, the nodes (which represent humans or other entities) have continuous-valued  opinions and update those opinions when they interact with neighboring nodes with sufficiently similar opinions. I will discuss various generalizations of BCMs and examine how they affect consensus, polarization, and fragmentation of opinions in BCMs.

November 3, 2023 - 3:30pm

Location and Address

University Club, Ballroom B

Speaker Information

Mason A Porter is a professor in the Department of Mathematics at UCLA. He also has a secondary appointment in UCLA's Department of Sociology and is an External Professor of Santa Fe Institute. Mason earned his B.S. in Applied Mathematics at Caltech in 1998 and his Ph.D. from the Center for Applied Mathematics at Cornell University in 2002. After postdoctoral positions at Georgia Tech, Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, and Caltech, Mason joined the faculty in the Mathematical Institute at University of Oxford in 2007. He moved to UCLA in 2016. Mason studies many topics in complex systems, networks, and nonlinear systems. Thus far, twenty-six PhD students have completed their doctorates under Mason's mentorship; he has also mentored many postdoctoral scholars and undergraduate students. In 2017, Mason received the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Faculty Mentoring Award (Advanced Career Category) in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division. Mason is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, the American Physical Society, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.