The course investigates how the social, technological, and natural worlds are connected, and how the study of graphs and networks sheds light on these connections. Particular topics include: how opinions, fads, and political movements spread through society, and the technology, economics, and politics of Web information and online communities. Special emphasis will be placed on PageRank and web link analysis, the theory behind strong and weak ties in relationships, and the small-world phenomenon. Students will learn to use models and theory to explain and exploit the structure of information and social networks. Some basic toolkits for analyzing such networks will also be discussed.
Instructor: Prof. Ymir Vigfusson.
Material: The book we use is Networks, Crowds and Markets by Easley and Kleinberg. We will follow the Networks Course at Cornell, Social and Information Network Analysis from Stanford, and the Science of the Web from CMU.