Innovation Networks, Liberal Arts and the Strength of Weak Ties

April 6th, 2:00 p.m.

Library Viewing Room, William Howard Doane Library

Dr. Bruce Rogers, Augustana College

Where do new and innovative ideas come from? Do new ideas generate from a single scholar working in isolation or from a network of scholars applying their individual expertise in a team setting?

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Dr. Bruce Rogers

History tends to privilege the individual discoverer, but practice suggests that ideas manifest from a network of individuals.  Contemporary problems are too complex for an individual to comprehend in their entirety.  For example, finding a cure for cancer or feeding nine billion people are beyond the abilities of any single individual.  Networks of researchers and scholars will be needed to solve these large-scale problems.

In this talk, Dr. Rogers will discuss the important role of diversity and weak ties in breakthrough and innovation, and how innovation and invention should be a natural outcome of a liberal arts education.

Dr. Bruce Rogers is a fellow at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.  He holds a PhD in Mathematics from Arizona State University and recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) at Duke University.  His work has appeared in Journal of Natural Resources, the Social Science Research Network, and in the IEEE Proceedings on Decision and Control.

Joshua Finnell

One Comment

  1. This looks very interesting. My students have been studying weak ties in the social movements course and the new literacy course. Is the library bringing this scholar in or a department or both?

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