Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: October 19, 2001
Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue

Pitching In For NYC

State Grant Supports Panther Hollow Research Facility

Annual United Way Campaign Has Begun

Six Alumni Were Victims of Terrorist Attacks

Kathleen Carley Garners Lifetime Achievement Award

PSC Installs Most Powerful Computing System

Kiron Skinner Named to U.S. Defense Policy Board

Carnegie Mellon Co-Hosts Cybersecurity Brainstorming Series

Economist Robert Strauss Says Consumer Spending Will Rebound

Extraordinary Freshman Enjoys Independence

NSF Grants SCS Faculty More Than $24 Million For Research

News Briefs
-Technology Impacts
-Mile of Quarters
-Westinghouse Gift
-Honorary Degrees
-Acting Head of SDS
-Boxed Out
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Carley Kathleen Carley Garners Lifetime Achievement Award; Her Work "Enhances Understanding of Social Life"

Kathleen M. Carley, professor of Social and Decision Sciences and director of the university's Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS), is the recipient of the American Sociological Association's (ASA) "Lifetime Achievement Award" in its Sociology and Computers Section.

The ASA award praises Carley's work for having "exemplified the use of computers to enhance our understanding of social life." The award committee said her co-edited volumes on computational models of organizations have helped to "define" the field.

Carley's work links theories and methods from social networks, organization science, social science, biology and computer science to formulate computer science models that analyze complex social and organizational problems and policies.

She and her co-researchers have created computer-based analytic tools and mathematical or logical models for choosing workgroup members, predicting organization responses to disasters and terrorist activities, outlining the network structure in virtual organizations and depicting organizational adaptations in volatile and hostile environments.

Carley, whose work has garnered increased national attention in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on America, says her investigations into organization networks help to reveal "who knows who and who knows what" within organizations. She says her work also reveals the critical intelligence necessary to understand the ability of an organization to operate and adapt to changing social, political, technological and economic conditions.

Carley told The Washington Post that new tools have been developed that analyze how members of an organization interact. She said these tools could produce a virtual X-ray of an organization, identifying critical members of a group.

Carley said the analysis could be used to help or hinder an organization, such as terrorist networks.

"Imagine if you knew who went to whom for advice in your office," Carley told the Washington Post. "If you found a set of people who gave out more advice than anyone else and then removed them from the network so they can't communicate with others, you would infringe on the ability of the network to operate.

"There's no reason organizational glitches, screw-ups, jealousies and distrust that slow and degrade performance can't be intentionally introduced," she said. Her research and teaching appointments at Carnegie Mellon lie in the departments of Social and Decision Sciences and Engineering and Public Policy, the Heinz School and the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems. She has been a member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty since 1984 and director of CASOS since 1988.

Carley's research is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, U.S. Army Research Labs, the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

During the past 15 years, she has been a consultant to several large corporations and universities and is frequently invited to give lectures and conference presentations worldwide.

Carley has authored or co-authored four books, more than 85 journal articles, numerous chapters in edited texts and many conference proceedings. She serves on the editorial board of five major journals in sociological and cognitive sciences and is a reviewer for more than 25 more. She has held leadership positions in both the Sociology and Computers Section and the Mathematical Sociology Section of the ASA.

Carley received her bachelor's degree in political science and economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her doctor's degree in sociology from Harvard University.

Teresa Sokol Thomas

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