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Emerging Research in Science and Technology: Patterns of New Knowledge Development

February 2, 2012 Technology Comments Off

By Phin Upham and Henry Small


Research fronts represent the most dynamic areas of science and technology and the areas that attract the most scientific interest. We construct a methodology to identify these fronts, and we use quantitative and qualitative methodology to analyze and describe them. Our methodology is able to identify these fronts as they form—with potential use by firms, venture capitalists, researchers, and governments looking to identify emerging high-impact technologies. We also examine how science and technology absorbs the knowledge developed in these fronts and find that fronts which maximize impact have very different characteristics than fronts which maximize growth, with consequences for the way science develops over time.

Areas of scientific research that generate intense interest from other scientists tend to be perceived as the most promising (Braam et al. 1988, Hirschman 1970), are particularly well funded (Boyack and Borner 2003), and are more likely to result in commercial discoveries (Narin et al, 1997; Trajtenberg 1990). In this paper we study small clusters of highly cited research, called “research fronts.” We work to provide quantitative and qualitative support for continued, focused study of these areas as important for understanding the development of science and technology more broadly. These areas of intensive work are interesting to R&D laboratories looking for future innovation breakthroughs, venture capitalists looking to allocate investment, governments interested in promoting emerging science, and researchers hoping to work on promising topics.
The long term goal of this work is to develop a robust and efficient methodology for identifying and tracking highly cited research areas at the micro-speciality level. This includes detecting them as they emerge and understanding the role these fronts play in the development of science and technology. The broad requirement of this methodology is that it does not presuppose the existence of any specific research area, such as would be required in a traditional literature-searching approach, nor any prior knowledge about the scientific area, but instead relies on an objective, comprehensive monitoring of citations. It should be possible to increase or decrease the sensitivity of the detection by adjusting parameters and make direct comparisons of different time slices. In addition, the method should be multidisciplinary and utilize field normalization to obtain a systematic view across different disciplines. The scope should be scalable from the micro-structure to the macro-structure of science to see the context of the innovation. Finally, the method should capture both social aspects and the topical content of scientific areas.

Full paper available here

Read more articles by Phin Upham

Emerging Research in Science and Technology: Patterns of New Knowledge Development

January 10, 2012 Phin Upham, Science, Technology Comments Off

By Phin Upham & Henry Small


Research fronts represent the most dynamic areas of science and technology and the areas that attract the most scientific interest. We construct a methodology to identify these fronts, and we use quantitative and qualitative methodology to analyze and describe them. Our methodology is able to identify these fronts as they form—with potential use by firms, venture capitalists, researchers, and governments looking to identify emerging high-impact technologies. We also examine how science and technology absorbs the knowledge developed in these fronts and find that fronts which maximize impact have very different characteristics than fronts which maximize growth, with consequences for the way science develops over time.

[full article: Academiai]

Phin Upham has a PhD in Applied Economics from the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania). Phin us a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He can be reached at phin@phinupham.com.

Read more of Phin on his personal website.

Apple loses its lawsuit against Samsung tablets

December 5, 2011 Mobile, News, Phin Upham, Software, Technology Comments Off

A federal judge ruled in Samsung’s favor this week in litigation by Apple that would’ve prevented Samsung from selling it’s popular Samsung Galaxy tablets. Apple claimed that the product line by the South Korean electronics giant was too similar to the iPhone and iPad in appearance, functionality, and packaging and had infringed upon their copyrights.

The lawsuit followed in April, is scheduled for trial sometime next year. The judges ruling on Friday will allow Samsung to sell the devices for the time being.

“Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smartphone products and consumer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” read Apple’s original suit.

The judge’s decision to allow Samsung to continue to sell their products comes as a result of Apple failing to make a case that the sale of the Galaxy tablet and smartphones had caused “irreparable harm” to the sale of Apple products.

The court also ruled in favor of Samsung as a result of the questionable nature of some of Apple’s technical patents.

This is extremely good news for Samsung, as tablets and smartphones are expected to be among the highest selling items this holiday season, and the Samsung Galaxy is one of the best selling Android tablets.

curated by Phin Upham

Xbox 360 Goes Metro With New Dashboard

November 23, 2011 Software, Technology Comments Off

Microsoft will freshen up the Xbox 360′s dashboard this December, giving it a new look based in the Metro stylings found in Windows Phone and expected in Windows 8. Users will also find new social features, cloud storage, better voice and gesture controls, and Beacon, a service to help organize one’s online gaming.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) will release an update to the Xbox 360 dashboard for all Xbox Live members on Dec. 6.

The update is reportedly modeled after Microsoft’s new Metro user interface, which is used for Windows Phones and will be part of Windows 8.

It will offer new personal and social features, cloud storage, Beacons, enhanced family settings, integrated voice and gesture controls across the dashboard and in apps, and Bingvoice search.

Also on Dec. 6, leading app providers will roll out new customized apps for the Xbox 360 in 20 countries.

The Goodies in the Update

The update will support voice and gesture controls across the entire Xbox Dashboard instead of only in the dedicated Kinect hub.

Bing voice search will be offered to users in the United States, the UK and Canada this year, and will be rolled out to users elsewhere later.

Another update is the inclusion of Beacons, a system that will let Xbox 360 owners tell Xbox Live what they want to play. Xbox Live will then let the owners know when their friends are playing that game or want to play it. Beacons will be active in the background while users do other things on their Xbox 360s.

Cloud saving will reportedly be available for Gold members. This will let them transfer saved files to friends’ consoles without going through the “Recover Gamertag” process.

A host of new customized apps for TV, movies, Internet videos, sports and music will be rolled out starting Dec. 6 in more than 20 countries.

[read more: Tech News World]

curated by Phin Upham

China beats U.S. to become the Largest Smartphone Market in Volume

November 23, 2011 Mobile, Technology Comments Off

Although smartphone adoption is at a record high here in the United States, research coming from Strategic Analytics shows that the Chinese market for smartphones is larger than ours. China has now officially pulled ahead of the United States in number of shipped phones.

The numbers were close though. In Q3, the difference was only 1 million units (24 million vs. 23 million units). It is not surprising that China ships the most cell phones in the world considering that they have the most cell phone users in the world.

The numbers from Strategic Analytics also take manufacturers into consideration. In the U.S. the two top manufacturers are Apple and HTC. These two companies account for half of the sales in the country for the quarter. However in China, the two top sellers are Nokia and Samsung.

curated by Phin Upham

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