"Social Networks" - Freshman Seminar
- Ezra Getzler - 8474671695 - Lunt Hall 308
- Lunt Hall 101 - MoWe 2:00PM - 3:20PM
Overview of classYou may have heard of the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." The point of this game is that "everybody is connected", and in particular, that every film actor can be connected in at most six steps from Kevin Bacon. For example, Marilyn Monroe was in The Misfits with Eli Wallach, and Wallach was in Mystic River with Kevin Bacon, so Marilyn Monroe is two steps removed from Kevin Bacon: her Kevin Bacon number equals two.
In this seminar, we will learn about networks in the real world (like the network of American film actors, or the network of mathematics papers, or networks of friends), and some of the mathematics that is being developed to help understand them. We will also look at some applications: the spread of HIV, power blackouts, and terrorism.
Evaluation MethodClass participation: 25%
Writing assignments: 75%
Four essays (3-4 pages each) and a final paper (6-8 pages), together with other shorter written assignments (such as reaction pieces) assigned during the quarter.
Class Materials (Required)To start with, we will be reading and discussing some or all of the following books:
"Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks" by Mark Buchanan
"Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age" by Duncan J. Watts
"The Search for an Abortionist" by Nancy Howell Lee
After that, we will be reading a number of chapters from different books, and published and unpublished articles, on applications of the theory in different areas.
Enrollment RequirementsEnrollment Requirements: Reserved for Freshmen and Sophomores
Add Consent: Department Consent Required
Drop Consent: Department Consent Required
Current as of 06/15/13 04:25:32 AM