Ryan Whalen

Welcome to ryanwhalen.com. I'm a faculty member at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. My research interest areas include innovation policy, information policy, intellectual property law, and legal technology. I'm especially interested in computational analysis of legal systems and demonstrating ways to inform policy design via empirical analysis.

Below you will find some recent blog posts, details about some of my research, and my contact details. You can find much of my research on SSRN, and some related code on GitHub.

Recent Blog Posts

Sep 0
Sep 0

The Law Prof Twittersphere 2019

Following on the publication of this year’s Law Prof Twitter Census, I have re-run my law-prof-twitter-network-grabbing-script. There’s an updated network of law prof twitter following relations pictured below (click through for interactive version, it may take a moment to load and you may need to allow javascript to run). Once again, nodes are colored by […]

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Jun 0
Jun 0

LSA Twittersphere

I mapped the twitter following relations of users who had tweeting using the various LSA hashtags (#lsadc2019, #lsa2019, and #lsadc19). Nodes are sized by in-degree and colored by modularity community, of which there are 9 in the main component. Click through for an interactive version.

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Law Prof Twitter Network 2018
Aug 0
Aug 0

The Law Prof Twittersphere of 2018

It’s been three years since I last did one of these (link), so when Bridget Crawford updated the Law Prof twitter census (link) I thought I’d re-map the twittersphere to see what’s changed, what’s remained the same and to provide a few minutes of self-indulgent navel-gazing for the law prof commentariat. Everything below is subject […]

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Aug 0
Aug 0

IPSC 2018 Twittersphere

I grabbed following relations for the users who tweeted using the #IPSC2018 hasttag (after August 1st 2018). Map below (click through for interactive version). Takeaway: IP tweeters tend to follow one another a lot. It’s a fairly dense network as  far as these these go, with 128 nodes and 2,769 edges.  

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Ranking distance distribution
Jul 2
Jul 2

Collaboration and Impact In Legal Academia – Part 1 ranking homophily

I’ve recently posted a short collection of analyses about the state of collaboration on articles posted to LSN subject matter e-journals: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3206555. I’ll spin out a few parts of the report here over the next few weeks. The first aspect of the collaboration and rankings analysis I’ll to dig into a bit is the role that […]

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#iconshk twittersphere
Jun 1
Jun 1

#iconshk network

I’ve re-downloaded the #iconshk twitter follower data. Over the first two days of the conference, the number of users who have tweeted using the hashtag has more than doubled – from 106 to 261 users. There are now two connected components (I’ve removed about a half dozen isolates from the visualization, but will include them […]

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News & Research

My work uses computational social science methods to explore questions relevant to those interested in the law and innovation policy. My research is data-driven and relies extensively on computational methods, network analysis and natural language processing. You'll find details below on some selected presentations, publications, and activities
  • 2018

Invited to present A Network Theory of Nonobviousness (co-authored with Laura Pedraza-Farina) at the University of Chicago – Tsinghua Young Faculty Forum in Law and Social Science.

Boundary Spanning Innovation and the Patent System: Interdisciplinary Challenges for a Specialized Examination System, Research Policy (forthcoming).

Research Funding’s “Endorsement Effect” on Scientific Boundary Work and Research Production: Government Legitimization of Alternative Medicine, Science and Public Policy (forthcoming).

Complex Innovation and the Patent System, 17 Chicago–Kent Journal of Intellectual Property 1 (2018).

Priority Queuing on the Docket: Universality of Judicial Dispute Resolution Timing. Frontiers in Physics: Interdisciplinary Physics (special research topic—Law as a Natural Phenomenon: The Empirical Investigation of the Legal Universe between Complexity, Biology, and Computation) (2018).

  • 2017

Assumed faculty position at University of Hong Kong

Common Law Evolution and Judicial Impact in the Age of Information 8 Elon Law Review 3 (2017) (with Brian Uzzi, and Satyam Mukherjee)

"Opening Up Canadian Innovation Data," Policy Options (Feb. 2017).

  • 2016

Explorative Knowledge Search, Innovation & Inventor Teams, presentation at International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2) (with Noshir Contractor).

Legal Evolution: Temporal Patterns of Precedent Citation and Judicial Opinion Impact, presentation at International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2) (with Brian Uzzi, and Satyam Mukherjee).

Legal Networks: The Promises and Challenges of Legal Network Analysis, Michigan State Law Review (forthcoming)

An Innovative Canada Needs an Innovative Information Policy, Op-Ed: University Affairs (April, 2016).

"Citation Distance: Measuring Knowledge Translation, Integration, Diffusion, and Scope", Canadian Association for Information Science Annual Conference, Calgary AB (with Noshir Contractor).

“Patent Citation Distance: Measuring Trends in Combinatorial Innovation,” presentation at INSNA Sunbelt Conference 2016, Newport Beach (with Noshir Contractor).

“Citation Distance: Measuring Changes in Scientific Search Strategies,” presentation at 3rd Annual ACM Big Scholar Workshop, Montreal (with Yun Huang, Craig Tanis, Anup Sawant, Brian Uzzi, and Noshir Contractor).

  • 2015

Second-Order Obviousness: How Information and Communication Technologies Make Inventions More Obvious and Why the Law Should Care, 4 JOURNAL OF THE PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE SOCIETY 597

Judicial Gobbledgygook: The Readability of Supreme Court Opinions, 125 YALE LAW JOURNAL FORUM 200.

"Legal Networks: The Promises & Challenges of Legal Network Analyses," Presented as an invited participant at the Michigan State College of Law Legal Quanta symposium

"Patent Application Citations and the Examination Process: A Network-Based Date-Sensitive Method to Analyze Patent Applications," Presented at the Law & Big Data Workshop at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Law (ICAIL 2015), University of San Diego.

“Boundary Spanning Patent Applications, Teams and the Patent Examination Process,” Presented at the Science of Team Science, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD, (with Noshir Contractor).

"Automated Detection of Perfunctory Citations: Nuancing Impact Factors and Weighting Citation Networks to Account for Citation Heterogeneity," Presented at INSNA Sunbelt 2015, Brighton, UK (with Yun Huang, Anup Sawant, & Noshir Contractor).

"Natural Language Processing, Article Content & Bibliometrics: Predicting High Impact Science," Presented at Analyzing Scholarly Communication on the Web at ACM WebSci 2015, Oxford University.

Invited Participant - Predicting Legal Outcomes Workshop at Codex - Stanford Law School Center for Legal Informatics.

Will the Agencies Ever Go Marching In? Public Rights in Federally-Funded Inventions, 109 NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1083.

  • 2014

Bad Law Before it Goes Bad: Citation Networks and the Life Cycle of Overruled Precedent, in NETWORK ANALYSIS IN LAW, Radboud Winkels et al. eds., ESI Law, Science & Technology Series.

Served as Editor-in-Chief of the Northwestern University Law Review

Attended the Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering (VSCSE) Data Intensive Summer School at the University of Chicago

  • 2013

Modeling Annual Supreme Court Influence: The Role of Citation Practices and Judicial Tenure in Determining Precedent Network Growth, in COMPLEX NETWORKS, A. Evuskoff et. al eds., Springer Verlag Studies in Computational Intelligence Series.

The U.S. Government as an Interagency Network, 4 INTERAGENCY JOURNAL 69

Attended the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) Complex Systems Modeling and Networks course

  • 2012

“Legal Complexity: Measuring complexity within the Supreme Court precedent network and predicting network growth,” invited talk at Argonne National Laboratory – Laboratory for Advanced Numerical Simulation.

“Organizational structure as a multiplex network: The case of the US federal government.” International Communication Association. Phoenix, AZ.

“Reconceptualizing Precedent Depreciation: Using tree network growth to measure and compare court decisions.” International Network for Social Network Analysis. Redondo Beach, CA.

  • 2011

"Government Agency Network Discovery via Hyperlinks and Datalinks,” WebSci, Koblenz, Germany (with Ding Li, Noshir Contractor, & Deborah McGuinness).

Attended the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Large Scale Network Analysis course