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SFU Beedie faculty member receives KD Tocher Medal for research into spread of rumours on social media

Jan 24, 2024

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CK Kaligotla is holding a medal and a certificate that has been presented to him by Gilbert Osowu, standing to his left. Both men are dressed in suits, and looking at the camera.

Assistant Professor CK Kaligotla (left) receives the KD Tocher Medal from Operational Research Society’s president, Gilbert Owusu (right).

SFU’s Beedie School of Business congratulates Assistant Professor Chaitanya “CK” Kaligotla on receiving the KD Tocher Medal from the Operational Research Society (ORS). The award recognizes Kaligotla’s paper Diffusion of Competing Rumours on Social Media as an outstanding contribution to the philosophy, theory or practice of simulation published in the Journal of Simulation.

The paper, based on research conducted by Kaligotla for his doctoral thesis, is co-authored with Enver Yucesan and Stephen E. Chick. It examines the dynamics of communication on social media, namely the spread of rumours. It explains the impact of micro-level interactions on social media on macro level outcomes, and then proposes methods for countering the spread of rumours.

ORS judges stated that: “We found the investigation was well explained and meets the aim of the authors to broaden the understanding of a social phenomenon.” Judges also commended the use of agent-based modelling to simulate and provide insight into a real-world complex issue.

Kaligotla attended the awards ceremony at the Royal Society in London in December where he was presented the K.D. Tocher Medal by ORS president Gilbert Owusu.

“This award is an incredible reminder that perseverance pays off,” says Kaligotla. “In research, you often work on a paper or ideas for years and face constant rejections and disappointments. It serves as a powerful testament to the support I received from my doctoral advisors, colleagues, and friends. Their guidance and encouragement were instrumental in my success.”

“Receiving the Tocher Medal also signifies the exciting potential for further advancements in this field of research. With the support of the NSERC [Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada] Discovery Grant awarded in 2022 for five years, I am eager to continue this line of research and contribute to the advancement of the field.”