High School Dating
(Bearman, Moody, and Stovel, 2004)
(Image by Mark Newman)
Corporate E-Mail Communication
(Adamic and Adar, 2005; image by the authors)
A course on how the social, technological, and natural worlds are connected, and how the study of networks sheds light on these connections. Topics include: how opinions, fads, and political movements spread through society; the robustness and fragility of food webs and financial markets; and the technology, economics, and politics of Web information and on-line communities.
The course is designed at the introductory undergraduate level with no formal prerequisites; it satisfies the Arts & Sciences Social and Behavioral Analysis (SBA) distribution and the Engineering Liberal Studies (SBA group) distribution. (See also the poster announcing the course.)
See below for more information, including the
and digest blog,
the list of handouts,
the outline of topics (including links to readings),
the schedule of office hours,
CMS site (which includes the Cornell-restricted readings).
There is a class weblog that we will be maintaining as part of the course, and posting to the blog will be part of the graded coursework, as described in the accompanying handout. The blog is hosted at Cornell, as part of the Expert Voices Gateway of the National Science Digital Library.
Information about the mechanics of posting can be found in the opening blog post.
The course staff will also be maintaining a parallel digest blog, designed to provide a quick overview of what's going on in the class blog, with links to particular posts and comments on related resources.
(1) Graph Theory and Social Networks
Readings (Jan. 24 - Jan. 31)
(2) Game Theory
Readings (Jan. 31 - Feb. 7)
(3) Markets and the Network Structure of Strategic Interaction
Readings (Feb. 9 - Feb. 26)
(4) The World-Wide Web and Information Access
Readings (Feb. 28 - Mar. 16)
(5) Network Effects
Readings (Mar. 26 - Apr. 6)
(6) Diffusion and Contagion in Networks
Readings (Apr. 9 - Apr. 16)
(7) Further Applications of Network Analysis
Readings (Apr. 18 - May 4)
158 and 159 Myron Taylor (Prof. Kleinberg's and Easley's offices) are in the Institute for the Social Sciences (ISS); see the Directions to ISS for information on how to get there.
However, the main goal of the course will be to build mathematical models of phenomena such as we see in the Gladwell and Schelling books. As such, students will be expected to interpret and work with mathematical models as they come up the course; at the same time, students should also think about how to relate these models to phenomena at a qualitative level.
You are allowed to collaborate on the homework to the extent of formulating ideas as a group. However, you must write up the solutions to each problem set completely on your own, and understand what you are writing. You must also list the names of everyone that you discussed the problem set with.
Collaboration is not allowed on the other parts of the coursework.
Finally, plagiarism deserves special mention here. Including text from other sources in written assignments without quoting it and providing a proper citation constitutes plagiarism, and it is a serious form of academic misconduct. This includes cases in which no full sentence has been copied from the original source, but large amounts of text have been closely paraphrased without proper attribution. To get a better sense for what is allowed, it is highly recommended that you consult pages 16-22 of the Academic Integrity document at web.cornell.edu/UniversityFaculty/docs/AI.Acknow.pdf. It is also worth noting that search engines have made plagiarism much easier to detect. This is a very serious issue; instances of plagiarism will very likely result in failing the course.