Discover magazine has named Jon Kleinberg as one of the 20 Best Brains Under 40 for his work on HITS and social networks.
“In the mid-1990s a Web search for, say, “DISCOVER magazine” meant wading through thousands of results presented in a very imperfect order. Then, in 1996, 24-year-old Jon Kleinberg developed an algorithm that revolutionized Web search. That is why today, that same search lists this magazine’s home page first. Kleinberg, now 37, created the Hyperlink-Induced Topic Search algorithm, which estimates a Web page’s value in both authority (quality of content and endorsement by other pages) and hub (whether it links to good pages).
Kleinberg continues to combine computer science, data analysis, and sociological research to help create better tools that link social networking sites. He envisions an increase in how we can see information move through space over time, in what he calls geographic hot spots on the Web, based on the interests of a particular region.
Our social network links and friendships depend on these geographic hot spots, Kleinberg says, which makes searching easier by “taking into account not just who and when, but where.” He is now studying how word-of-mouth phenomena like fads and rumors flow through groups of people, hoping to apply this knowledge to processes such as political mobilization.”