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Morad Benyoucef Congratulations to Telfer professor Morad Benyoucef, and Amir Afrasiabi Rad, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Information Technology and Engineering (SITE), who were awarded a Mitacs-Accelerate Graduate Internship grant in the amount of $60,000. The two-year project, entitled Increasing Marketing Campaign Performance Using Influential Users in Social Networks, is sponsored by IBM Canada Ltd.

The project responds to the explosive growth of social media. Massive participation in social networks turned them into an important hub of information reflected in the countless number of opinions, news and product reviews that are constantly posted and discussed on sites such as Facebook, Digg, Twitter, etc. The ability to track user generated content on social networks and its propagation within user communities have created an opportunity to follow and predict market trends. The objective of this project is to detect and classify influential users on social networks with the aim that they may influence their friends and followers. Results are expected to be useful for businesses when designing their marketing campaigns.

“Mitacs-Accelerate is Canada’s premiere research internship program. It connects companies with over 50 research-based universities through graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who apply their specialized expertise to business research challenges. Interns transfer their skills from theory to real-world application, while the companies gain a competitive advantage by accessing high-quality research expertise.” (Source:

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