Homework Assignment
Small World Experiment


Description

The basic idea is to replicate, in a simple way, the Milgram Small World experiment. You need to figure out the shortest path between you and several 'target' people whose names I give below. Each path consists of links of personal relationships, as in: you know Sally, Sally knows Peter, and Peter knows the target person.

For example, suppose we start with the first target on the list below: John Neuhauser, Dean of the Carroll School of Management. Do you know him personally? And (this is important) does he know you? If so, you are done with this target. If not, think of someone you know who might know Neuhauser (and vice-versa). If you can think of someone, then you are done with this target. If not, maybe you can think of someone who knows someone who knows Neuhauser, and so on.

In all cases, each link in a chain must be 2-way. That is, if A knows B, B must also know A. For example, you may know a certain faculty member because you took their class, but they may not know you, because they have so many students over time.

This exercise can take a lot longer than you might think. It is very important to start early (an absolute minimum of one week before the deadline, and even then you would have to spend a lot of time on this).

 

List of Targets

  1. Bill Stevenson, Chair of Organization Studies Dept.
  2. Terrence Chan, student at BC
  3. Lenny Gega, class of 1999
  4. Any employee of Gillette

 

Report

The write-up for this is short: 1 or 2 pages. The main thing is to give the sequence of persons for each target. For each person mentioned, you need to give me the following information: (a) name, (b) phone or e-mail address or postal address, (c) major (if student) or occupation (if not), and (d) how the previous person in the chain knows them. In addition, for the last person in the chain (before the target), how they know the target.

 

Copyright 1997 Stephen P. Borgatti Revised: 14 October, 1998 Home Page