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What are we most thankful for?

Over the past few months, many people have been challenging one another to share on Facebook the things for which they are most grateful. So, for example, one friend might challenge another to "write 3 things you are thankful for over the next 5 days." In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we thought we would see what people are most thankful for.

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Facebook’s Top Open Data Problems

Facebook hosted a data faculty summit on September 16, 2014. Top database faculty from around the country joined Facebook researchers at their headquarters in Menlo Park, California, to discuss the key open challenges around data storage and access. The focus was on three broad topics: small data, big data, and hardware trends. Small data refers to OLTP-like queries that process and retrieve a small amount of data, usually 1-1000 objects requested by their id. Indexes limit the amount of data accessed during a single query, regardless of the total volume of data. Big data refers to queries that process large amounts of data, usually for analysis: trouble-shooting, identifying trends, and making decisions. The total volume of data is massive for both small and big data, ranging from hundreds of terabytes in memory to hundreds of petabytes on disk.

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Fast Randomized SVD

Computing the Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) is a key problem in linear algebra, and is incredibly useful in a wide variety of contexts in machine learning, statistics, signal processing, and other fields. Formally, the SVD of a real m × n matrix A is a factorization of the form A = U Σ Vᵀ, where U is an m × m orthogonal matrix of left singular vectors, Σ is an m × n diagonal matrix of singular values, and Vᵀ is an n × n orthogonal matrix of right singular vectors.

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Facebook Advertising Research Around the World

Facebook does research to improve its services. Many parts of the world experience Facebook through smartphones but as we continue to grow globally, increasingly we are also seeing a rise in low-end devices with a spotty Internet connection—a far more typical scenario in developing markets.

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What’s in a Name?

For years, parents have been naming their children in clever, or, if you feel less charitable, 'clever' ways. This dates at least all the way back to Roman times, where the twins Romulus and Remus share more than just genes and a wolf-mother: their names themselves bear obvious typographical and phonetic resemblance. This trend is alive and well today. Roger Clemens loved strikeouts so much that he named his children all starting with the letter K. It's sad to imagine the Kardashian family helplessly struggling to name its children in a world missing that same letter. The winner in this department, however, has to be boxer George Foreman, who famously named all five of his sons George.

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Books That Have Stayed With Us

Favorite books are something friends like to share and discuss. A Facebook meme facilitates this very interaction. You may have seen one of your friends post something like “List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take more than a few minutes, and don't think too hard. They do not have to be the 'right' books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.”

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On Facebook when the earth shakes…

On Sunday August 24th, 3:20 a.m Pacific time, an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 occurred in the Bay Area, 3.7 miles (6.0 km) northwest of American Canyon near the West Napa Fault. It was the largest earthquake in the Bay Area since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. During a crisis, people turn to Facebook to stay connected to their friends and family. They use it to receive social support and keep the people they care about informed on how they are doing.

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Checking in at the World Cup and Leaving with Friends

Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world traveled to the 2014 World Cup and we wanted to take a closer look at those who used Facebook to stay connected while they were in Brazil, checking into host cities and forging new friendships with fellow soccer fans.

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The strange truth about fiction

Sharing rumors can be useful: they can be important sources of truthful information, especially in situations where authoritative sources of information are unavailable. Because rumor sharing is such an important activity in social networks, nearly every technological advancement that facilitates human communication, such as Facebook's 'Share' functionality, is ultimately used to relay rumors. In this note we examine a set of rumors propagating on Facebook either as text or images.