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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Nodes & Links: Network Science

Instructor(s): Csilla Szabo, Mathematics

Networks are all around us! From our social interactions to the neurons in our brains to the roads we travel on, we find network structure. The study of networks in the new and emerging field of network science can help us to better understand how these complex systems from brains to financial markets work. In this seminar, we will explore questions such as: Who are the "important" people in a social network? Which connections are the most likely to help you find a job? Can a social network help to predict an epidemic? Does our brain randomly make connections between neurons? Is it a small world after all? Students will build network models, both tactile and with software tools. We will represent network models as both graphs (a collection of points and lines) and matrices, analyze the network to classify the structure, and use measures to identify key players in a network. Network science is an interdisciplinary field and we will investigate applications in biology, sociology, epidemiology, political science, as well as others. No prerequisite mathematics knowledge or programming experience required. *Pending college approval; course description may be subject to change.

Course Offered: