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The networks underlying collaborative learning and solving

Marc Santolini will present the recent work of his team at the medialab seminar.

Event, Research Seminar


In this talk, Marc Santolini will review the recent work of his team in understanding collaborative learning and solving using network approaches on large empirical datasets. First, using extensive digital laboratory notebook data from more than 2,000 teams who participated to the science and engineering iGEM competition, Santolini will exhibit:

  1.  universal aspects of team work and team dynamics,
  2. features underlying team success in the competition and 
  3. how teams adapt their strategy throughout re-participations. 

Marc Santolini will then present the team progress in the ongoing ‘iGEM TIES’ project aimed at mapping high-resolution team interactions in the lab using a journaling and bluetooth-enabled smartphone app. Marc Santolini will contrast these results with the organisational behavior observed in massive online open-source communities from GitHub. Finally, he will introduce the team recent work on collaborative learning using fine-grain social data from online forums and phone call records, and show how interaction data can help predict learning outcomes.


Marc Santolini is a long-term research fellow and team leader at CRI research (Paris) and a visiting researcher at the Barabasi Lab (Network Science Institute at Northeastern University, Boston). He is also the co-founder of Just One Giant Lab, a nonprofit initiative aimed at developing decentralized open science challenges using smart digital tools. Trained as a theoretical physicist at ENS Paris and Princeton University, he developed a strong interest in the universal organisational properties observed in real-world networks in various domains. This led him to work as a postdoc in network science at the Barabasi Lab in Northeastern University and Harvard Medical School. He now leads the “Network Ties" team at the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity in Paris to unravel how communities innovate, learn and solve complex problems. The generated insights are used to develop digital tools fostering collective intelligence for social impact, and in 2018 he received the Sage Bionetworks “Young Investigators Award” for his work on “Algorithms and the role of the individual”.

Practical information

Seminar open to all, by videoconference only.

Pre-registration required: register