Crowds panic in the Wall Street district of Manhattan due to the heavy trading on the stock market in New York City on Oct. 24, 1929. Via WikiCommons.
Topical Meeting
  US Mountain Time

Our campus is closed to the public for this event.



Recent advances in communication technologies have altered the scope, speed, and structure by which information is exchanged among humans. These new patterns of information exchange are altering the dynamics of belief formation, with repercussions for politics, culture, and more recently, asset valuation. A recent example are so-called “meme-stocks,” whose institutional valuations are challenged by valuations driven by alternative “social media based” narratives. The rise of these alternative valuations can increase asset price volatility.

This meeting continued a discussion that began in the 2020 SFI-UBS Risk Meeting on Beliefs, Narratives, and Market Structure. Focal topics include: (i) the dynamics through which beliefs form, (ii) new technology-driven processes through which ideas spread, and (iii) implications for asset valuation and risk.


9:00 AM to 9:15 AM Welcome & Intro
with Juan-Luis Perez (UBS) and Will Tracy (Santa Fe Institute)
9:15 AM
to 9:50 AM
 Belief Dynamics: Interplay of Cognition and Sociality 
Mirta Galesic (Santa Fe Institute)
9:50 AM to 10:25 AM  Hacking Online Virality 
Filippo Menczer (Indiana University)
10:25 AM
to 11:00 AM
 Reddit's Self-Organised Bull Runs: Social Contagion & Asset Prices
Valentina Semenova (University of Oxford)
11:00 AM to 11:30 AM  Practitioner Panel
with Ryan Gould (UBS), Rishi Narang (T2AM), and Chris Slowe (Reddit) will use the day's academic insights to reflect on the impact of communication technology on risk and asset valuation. Moderated by Juan-Luis Perez (UBS)
11:30 AM Adjourn



Mirta Galesic - Professor at the Santa Fe Institute

Mirta Galesic is an SFI Resident Professor, as well as External Professor at the Complex Systems Hub in Vienna, part of the External Faculty at the Vermont Complex Systems Center, and an Associate Researcher at the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the University of Potsdam. She studies how simple cognitive mechanisms interact with social and physical environments to produce seemingly complex social phenomena. She works on developing empirically grounded computational models of social judgments, social learning, collective problem solving, and opinion dynamics. She also studies how people understand and cope with uncertainty and complexity inherent in many everyday decisions.

 Filippo Menczer - Luddy Distinguished Professor of Informatics and Computer Science at the Indiana University School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

Filippo Menczer is the Luddy Distinguished Professor of Informatics and Computer Science at the Indiana University School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, director of the Observatory on Social Media, and a member (and former director) of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research. He also has courtesy appointments in Cognitive Science and Physics, serves on the advisory board of the IU Network Science Institute (IUNI), and is a Fellow of the Center for Computer-Mediated Communication, a Senior Research Fellow of the Kinsey Institute, a Fellow at the ISI Foundation in Torino, Italy, and a Fellow of the ACM.

Research in his group, NaN, spans computational social science, network science, Web science, and data science, with a focus on analyzing and modeling the spread of information and misinformation in social networks and detecting and countering the manipulation of social media. He also studies social computing, Web search and data mining, and science of science.

Valentina Semenova - DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford's Institute for New Economic Thinking

Valentina Semenova is a DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford in the Institute for New Economic Thinking under the supervision of Professor Doyne Farmer. Her research is targeted towards developing new techniques to rigorously model and optimize complex systems, including the economy.

Before beginning her studies at Oxford, Valentina completed a master’s degree at Columbia University in Operations Research, studying the optimization of dynamic systems under the supervision of Professor Yuri Faenza. Prior to Columbia, she worked for 2 years in algorithmic trading at Goldman Sachs and 2 years at Palantir Technologies (a technology company specializing in big data analysis). Valentina completed her undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College where she double-majored in mathematics and economics. She did her undergraduate maths thesis at Dartmouth on the stability of the international trade network.


Christopher Slowe - Co-Founder and CTO of Reddit, Inc.

Christopher Slowe is the co-founder and CTO of Reddit, Inc. After graduating from Harvard with a Ph.D. in Physics, he entered the startup world through Y-Combinator’s first class and became Reddit’s first employee (pre-Condé Nast acquisition), where he later became Lead Developer. After leaving Reddit in 2010, Slowe returned in 2015 and now serves as CTO.

Ryan Gould - Managing Director & Head of UBS's Systematic Equity Trading Strategies

Ryan Gould is a Managing Director & Head of UBS’s Systematic Equity Trading Strategies including Retail Market Making.  He joined UBS in 2017 after 20 years at Citigroup where he held a variety of quant & trading roles across options market making, systematic trading, Central Risk Book, and equity derivative quantitative modeling. Ryan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Electrical Engineering, Math, and Finance.

Rishi Narang - Founding Principal of T2AM

Rishi K Narang is the Founding Principal of T2AM and manages T2AM’s investment activities. Mr. Narang began his career as a Global Investment Strategist for Citibank Alternative Investment in 1996. He then co-founded Tradeworx, Inc., a quantitative hedge fund manager, in 1999 and acted as its President until his departure in 2002. For three years, he was the co-Portfolio Manager and a Managing Director at Santa Barbara Alpha Strategies before founding T2AM, LLC in 2005. Mr. Narang is the author of Inside the Black Box: A Simple Guide to Quantitative and High-Frequency Trading, and organizes the Inside the Black Box ("ITBB") quantitative investing conference series. He is on the Board of Directors of Village Health Works, and is an Advisor to DARPA, Planet Labs, AngelList, Hyperion Decimus, Mission Road Sound, McKinley Capital, and Equeum. Mr. Narang completed his BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.


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