We managed to get our submission into LASER (http://www.cert.org/laser-workshop/) in. It was fun writing about a massive experimental failure that led to some very useful findings and considerations. We attempted to do an eye-tracking experiment on experts and novices in computer security. However, there were numerous technical and demographic problems with the study. We had a reasonable sized sample for an eye-tracking paper, but most of our expert subjects were unfamiliar with the technology being tested (we had no novices for this experiment), which led to a huge confound, in that we had to direct them in completing the tasks. This meant that the eye-tracking data was following our instructions around, rather than focusing on the specific tasks. Luckily, we were able to identify the problems and adjust the protocol and managed to get results that have been submitted to SOUPS (http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/soups/2012/).

I had my paper on security and epidemiological models accepted at WEIS (http://weis2012.econinfosec.org/). The reviewers were very astute in pointing out the weaknesses of the paper (many of which I was aware of). I’m editing the paper and furthering the data analysis. I’m pretty happy with the paper, but with the revisions, it will be much stronger.

Things have been a bit hectic lately. My wife is doing research in Japan, so I’ve spent most of the past six months getting ready to travel with her and the family. I’ve been woefully lax in updating my work, but recent news has brought relevancy to some of the stuff I was working on around this time last year. I have always been interested in the way biases shape the way we digest information and the nature of reputation economies. Based on these interests I did a preliminary study on graduate students on the reputation economy of academic publishing, focusing on Elsevier and their publishing of fake academic journals (http://classic.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55679/). I presented my findings (https://t34k3ttl3.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/esf_poster.pdf) at the ESF-COST Future Internet and Society: A Complex Systems Perspective conference (http://www.cost.esf.org/events/Future-Internet-and-Society). Elsevier has been in the news again as numerous scientists are boycotting their publications due to their support for the Research Works Act (http://www.nature.com/news/elsevier-boycott-gathers-pace-1.10010 and http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/feb/02/academics-boycott-publisher-elsevier).

I developed some software a few years back. I’m in the process of moving my Discrete Network Dynamics over to SourceForge for others to use. It can be used for analyzing the state spaces of multi-state discrete time discrete dynamical systems, usually associated with gene regulatory networks. You can find the project here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/discretenetwork/ it is still in progress, but I’m hoping to slowly accumulate the necessary documentation to make it usable to the scientific community.

In an attempt to return to an idea of open source science, I’m trying to get back to maintaining this site. I’m taking my qualifying exams at the end of August. I’ll be looking at social effects in decision making, speed and accuracy tradeoffs in deception and deception detection in animals, and effects of structure on diffusion and epidemics.

I headed back to the Biosphere last week to attend iPlant’s workshop on cyberinfrastructure design. It was an interesting gathering and the talks were very enlightening in a, “I wish we’d known that when we were starting, too.” sort of way. I caught up with some of the people from the last workshop I attended and met some new people with whom I shared research interests.

I’ve been working on collecting a body of literature dealing with social contagion such as smoking, obesity, sexual behavior, and the like, and I’ve inadvertently stumbled upon some pretty cool studies dealing with false perceptions and memory. I’m going to have spend more time looking at it, but right now I’m only giving things a quick glance.

I’m cataloging and tagging everything I find as part of data collection for the EPiC Project I’m working on with the folks over at the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, who are the same folks I was working with when I was working on the Network Workbench project. While I’m still listed as a programmer, I’m only assisting the programming team. My main job is research and as an intermediary between Jim Sherman and the developer team. I’m still participating in the developer meetings, but I’m more involved in translating requirements than actual programming, at least at this point in time.