Ryan Acton

Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology, CSSI

Ryan Acton is part of a select group of interdisciplinary researchers as part of a new UMass initiative on computational social science, continuing his work on social networks, online behavior, and research methodology. During his tenure at the NCASD Lab, Acton was a key figure in many projects, including research on emergent coordination following Hurricane Katrina, GIS-based modeling of large-scale networks, and data collection from online sources. His ScrapeR package for web-based data collection in R has become a popular tool for automating data collection both locally and in the broader R community, and is freely available via the CRAN online archives.

Recent Publications:

  • Emma S. Spiro, Ryan M. Acton and Carter T. Butts. 2013. “Extended Structures of Mediation: Re-examining Brokerage in Dynamic Networks.” Social Networks 35: 130-43.
  • Carter T. Butts, Ryan M. Acton and Christopher Steven Marcum. 2012. “Interorganizational Collaboration in the Hurricane Katrina Response.” Journal of Social Structure 13: 1-36.

Keywords: brokerage, social processes, structural theory, social networks, structural dynamics, coordination, disasters, emergent multiorganizational networks, interorganizational collaborations, Hurricane Katrina