Arnout van de Rijt

van de Rijt

Associate Professor (joint with IACS)
Ph.D. 2007, Cornell
(631) 632-7704
arnout.vanderijt@stonybrook.edu

Areas of Interest

Social networks, cumulative advantage

Bio

My research exploits novel data collection opportunities enabled by present-day communication technology to answer longstanding questions about the origins of social order and societal inequality.

My work on social networks seeks to understand complex patterns of social connectedness as the aggregate combination of many individuals following elementary decision rules on whom to connect to and whom to avoid. Examples of such decision rules are “a friend of a friend is a friend”, “reach out to people you wouldn’t normally hang out with”, “avoid being in the minority”, and "cultivate competing ties as to improve your bargaining position" . Agent-based computational models show that the networks that emerge in the aggregate as the result of such purposive action often exhibit undesirable structural features that no individual intended.

In my research on success-breeds-success processes I bestow minor financial and social successes (donations, awards, endorsements) upon random and unsuspecting recipients to reveal how this produces arbitrary inequality by raising their future success expectations vis-a-vis equally talented non-recipients. Results show that these self-reinforcing dynamics have a large distortionary effect on the meritocratic allocation of resources.
 
For my contributions to social network analysis I received the 2010 Freeman Award for Distinguished Junior Scholarship and several best article awards. My research is supported by the National Science Foundation through award #1340122 and has been published in American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

CV

Selected publications

Arnout van de Rijt, Soong Moon Kang, Michael Restivo and Akshay Patil. "Field Experiments of Success-Breeds-Success Dynamics." Forthcoming in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Press: Economist, Time, Daily News, Daily Mail, National Geographic

Arnout van de Rijt, Eran Shor, Charles Ward and Steven Skiena. "Only Fifteen Minutes? The Social Stratification of Fame in English-Language Media." American Sociological Review 78(2):266-89. Press: LA TimesToronto StarGlobe and Mail Newsday podcast pdf

Michael Restivo and Arnout van de Rijt. 2012. “Experimental Study of Informal Rewards in Peer Production.” PLoS ONE 7(3): e34358. pdf

Arnout van de Rijt. 2011. “The Micro-Macro Link for the Theory of Structural Balance.” Journal of Mathematical Sociology 35(1):94-113. pdf

Arnout van de Rijt, Michael W. Macy, and David Siegel. 2009. "Comment: Neighborhood Chance and Neighborhood Change". American Journal of Sociology 114(4):1166-80. pdf

Vincent Buskens and Arnout van de Rijt. 2008. “Dynamics of Networks if Everyone Strives for Structural Holes.” American Journal of Sociology 114(2):371-407. Discussed on orgtheory.net. This paper received the 2009 Best Article Award from the European Academy of Sociology and an honorary mention in the 2009 ASA Math. Soc. Best Article competition. Related work with Robb Willer earned the 2004 ASA Math. Soc. Graduate Student Best Paper Award. pdf

Arnout van de Rijt and Michael W. Macy. 2006. "Power and Dependence in Intimate Exchange." Social Forces 84(3):1455-70. pdf

News & Events

  June 2014
 
  •Suzan Walters was named a 2014 Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award Recipient by SAGE.  
  May 2014  
  Cathy Marrone receives the Sister Margareet Ann Landry Lifetime Achievement Award at the Stony Brook Student Life Awards Ceremony  
  April 2014  
 

•Study by Arnout van de Rijt and Michael Restivo published in PNAS and featured in The Economist
•Kenneth Pierce has received the Jean Harvey Slappy Fellowship by the Marcus Garvey Foundation
•Florencia Arancibia has been awarded an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Field Research Fellowship
IHSS, co-sponsored with the Department of History presents Samuel Roberts, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, April 22nd, 2:30 PM, SBS N320, "Black Politics, Caught Between Criminalization and Medicalization:  Methadone Maintenance, Decriminalization, and Harm Reduction, 1965-1990."
Natalia Sarkisian, Boston College, April 17th, 4:00 PM, SBS S403,"More or Less Kin:  Economic Disparities and Kin Support"
Oyeronke Oyewumi received the Distinguished Africanist Award by the New York African Studies Association (NYASA)
•Hyang-Gi Song has been awarded the Center for Korean Studies graduate fellowship
Jennifer London, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, April 9, 2014, 3:00 PM, Stony Brook Manhattan, "Understanding Authoritarianism as a Dynamic Category of Practice:  Ibn al-Muqaffa's Legacy for the History of Arab Political Thought:"

 
  March 2014  
 

•Brooke Ellison, Ph.D. 2012, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Management at Stony Brook University, was selected by the World Economic Forum as a 2014 Global Leader.
•Oyeronke Oyewumi awarded 2014/15 Fulbright Scholar Grant for teaching and research in Harare, Zimbabwe
•Rebekah Burroway, Cathy Marrone, and Carrie Shandra awarded Dean's Funds for Excellence awards
•Sasha Rodriguez awarded the American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship
•Bethany Coston receives the Madeline Fusco Fellowship Award
•Sasha Rodriguez receives the Faculty-Staff Dissertation Fellowship
•Amanda Kennedy receives the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching
•Sociology Major Neha Kinariwalla receives Gates Cambridge University Fellowship
•Ambassador Robert Toscano, March 24, 2014, 4:00 PM, Center for Italian Studies, Library, Room E4340, "Putin's Russia: Between Soviet Nostalgia and Traditionalist Nataionalism"
Valerie Leiter, Simmons College, March 13th, 4:00 PM, Health Sciences Center,Level 2, Room 408 (School of Health Technology and Management Conference Room),"Power, Rights, and Participation among Youth with Disabilities."  Co-sponsored by the Program in Public Health
IHSS will present Lori Flores, Stony Brook University, Department of History, March 5, 12:00 Noon, SBS N320, "Battlegrounds of Masculinity:  Latino Servicemen, Zoot Suiters, and Farmworkers in World War II"

 
  February 2014
 
  •Tarun Banerjee receives Sociology Department's Judith Tanur Dissertation Research Award.
Crystal Fleming receives Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
IHSS will present Lawrence Frohman, Stony Brook University, Department of History, February 12th, 11:30 AM, SBS N320, "Surveillance, Security, Divinity"
 
   November 2013  
   Michael Schwartz named Distinguished Teaching Professor by the State University of New York Board of Trustees  
   October 2013  
  Professor Adam Possamai, University of West Sydney, to speak on "Contemporary Religion and Australian Aborigines", Wednesday, October 30th, 3:00 PM, Stony Brook Manhattan, sponsored by the Dept. of Sociology, SBU Institute for Global Studies, and International Academic Programs and Services
Memory in the Disciplines Workshop welcomes Professor Suparna Rajaram, Stony Brook University, "Collaborative Memory:  A Cognitive Perspective", Wednesday, October 30th, 2:30 PM, SBS N403
IHSS co Sponsored with the Department of History presents Patrick Weil, CNRS and Yale Law School, October 30th, 4:30 PM, SBS N320, "From Emma Goldman to Edward Snowden:  How Denationalization of "Radical" Americans Reshaped American Citizenship
IHSS presents Robert Chase, Stony Brook History Department, October 22nd, 2:30 PM,  SBS N320, "Slaves of the State Revolt:  The Prisoners' Rights Movement and the Construction of the Carceral State"
 
  September 2013  
  Arnout van de Rijt wins $275k NSF grant for in vivo experimental research on arbitrary social inequality
•Screening of the film, ESCAPE FIRE, Tuesday, September 17th, 4:00 PM, SBS N403
IHSS presents Clayton Fordahl, Stony Brook Sociology Department, September 24th, 2:30 PM,  SBS N405, Imperium in imperio:  Martyrdom, the Roman Empire, and the Creation of Christian Sovereignty" 
 

Department of Sociology,  Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356, tel.: +1 (631) 632-7700

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