Russia's only large social network analysis laboratory has been established at Tomsk State University. Its staff will research public opinion in social networks: how it is formed and its influence on society as a whole and on particular governmental and private structures.
- The main purpose of the laboratory is the growth of competencies at TSU (in sociology, political science, and other areas) in the analysis of big data social networks, - says Professor Mikhail Myagkov, the scientific director of the laboratory. - Students, postgraduate students, and TSU teachers will learn not only to analyze what people are writing, expressed in social networks, but also to understand how the data analysis helps to assess what is happening in society, how people’s mood is changing, and how this affects the behavior of society as a whole.
These studies are now becoming increasingly important: the various organizations and companies dealing in such analytical information need them more and more. Therefore, it is assumed that the results of the Laboratory of Data Collection and Analysis will be required by the authorities at various levels, as well as by commercial structures.
According to the organizers, the laboratory is fully interdisciplinary. It brings together experts in computer technology, who understand how to collect, organize, and store the data, and social scientists - sociologists, political scientists, linguists, and psychologists. The company Kribrum (Moscow) will be a partner in this work. It will assist in analyzing the data and in the training of TSU students and staff in the methods and technologies for the collection of information in social networks. The technical part of handling and storage the data will be carried out with the use of TSU supercomputer.
- TSU is one of the leaders in computing technology in the Russian Federation, - says Mikhail Myagkov. - The University is continually expanding its capabilities in computational processes, and it was one of the essential factors for the implementation of such a project at TSU.
The Laboratory of Social Networks Data Analysis entered the TSU Research and Education Centre for Advanced Studies in the Social and Cognitive Sciences. Its head is Sergei Orlov, the director of the Interregional Supercomputing Centre TSU, and the supervisor of studies is Mikhail Myagkov, professor at the University of Oregon (USA).