Class First Day
Subject Matter
This is formally a course in SOCIAL network analysis, but the tools don't respect disciplinary boundaries and my own intellectual interest and background don't either. We can get very mathy or not very mathy or some combination of these as appropriate to the crowd.
Different levels, motivations, etc. Should be able to adapt, might require flexibility/patience sometimes.
Type of Course
This is more a skill than idea course. I want you to leave knowing how to do things and knowing about things rather than knowing about a field or a set of theories. Everything we do is meant to put something into your intellectual toolbox.
Living Networks
Some of the fun of studying networks is found in getting (at least temporarily) obsessed by things networkish. To this end, I anticipate us trying to build a culture of "mutual pedagogy" in which we introduce one another to new things, produce how-to documents, do demos, etc. This can include posting things to course blog, updating course wikipages, collaborating in building demos, etc. It's a small class so we'll be able to proceed flexibly and collaboratively.
I've subscribed the class email to the sociology at Mills blog to which I post miscellaneous stuff of interest. I also propose that we build a class blog to which any and all of us contribute things we find. More on this as we proceed.
Clerical Tasks
Please fill out first day index card online AND the media survey AND especially the office hours info.
My email is ude.sllim|nayrnad#ude.sllim|nayrnad. I delete emails that do not have a subject line. I expect all correspondence for this class to have soc180 in the subject line. There is a class email : ude.sllim|a081cos#ude.sllim|a081cos. Don't forget that little a.
We will use dropbox for electronic submission of assignments, picking up and sharing data, etc. We'll have folders that I share with each of you and we'll have a folder we all share.
Text books
In addition to Kadushin and Hansen et al., I recommend Newman as a great book useful for future but not mathematically shy. Cost about $60.
Who are you?
Let's talk background and interests. What do you know? What are you working on?
Lots of options. We'll start with NodeXL which has two advantages — builds on Excel platform that most folks already know/have; very easy interoperability with other programs; pretty good internet data grabbing capacity
Then we'll learn Gephi, an open source graph visualization program. Very elegant pictures. Relatively shallow learning curve. Decent palette of built-in network metrics, lots of community created plug-ins.
Grading and Such
Problem sets (~33%), exams (~33%), project (~33%). I will work out the details this weekend after I've had a chance to hear from you all. Problem sets will be due when they are due. Problem sets are graded on scale such as Excellent (4), high pass (3), pass (2) (pass means they were submitted). No late work accepted for evaluation but can be submitted for acknowledgement grade (1).
Attendance Etc.
100% attendance is expected. I expect that you will read and aggressively engage with materials before coming to class. Approximately 5-10 hours of work outside of class can be anticipated each week. If this is not compatible with your life style or if you are inclined to skimp on reading, blow off classes, or wing it, please take a different class.
Course Projects
I anticipate that our projects will be collaborative (between you and me) and that they will unfold over time and not be done at the last minute. I am specifically uninterested in minor league, last minute rush jobs!