This is a PhD level course on social network analysis.
The focus is both theoretical (e.g., what are the key concept of social network
analysis) and methodological (e.g., how do we actually carry out research on
social networks). What the course is not
is a survey of social network research to date (we have a separate course for
that taught by Prof. Dan Brass). The course begins with a definition of a social
network and a review of key concepts from the underlying mathematical field of
graph theory. We then move on to dyadic concepts in network analysis, such as
the notion of graph-theoretic distance. Next we cover node-level concepts, such
as centrality and ego-network structure. Next we cover whole-network level
concepts, such as network density. The end of the course is devoted to issues of
research design and methodology, including data collection and analysis
GOALS AND OUTCOMES
This is a hands-on course with the objective of teaching
a student how to do a network analysis. At the end of this course, a student
should be able design and implement a social network analysis research project,
including analyzing the data and writing up the results for a journal. The key
deliverable for the course is a publishable research paper.
The textbook for this course is Wasserman and Faust, 1994
Social Network Analysis. Cambridge. This is an indispensable reference book, but
difficult to read from front to back. Suggested readings from the book will be
assigned, but there will be no required readings from it. All of the required
readings are articles, chapters and handouts, which are given in the schedule.
Links to all the readings can be found on the class website at
The final paper is due via email
on May 4, by midnight. The schedule of classes can be found here:
Grading for this course is based on just two things:
(1) a research paper (worth 75% of your grade), and (2) class
participation (worth 25%). There are
no exams in this course.
(75%). For the paper, you must design and implement an empirical study of
social networks. While you are not required to submit this paper to a journal
for publication, it should be of publishable quality and written up in
Academy of Management Journal format. Copies of past (successful)
papers are available on the class website. The paper is due via email on
the last day of class, April 30th, before 2pm.
(25%). I expect active participation in the
classroom. My hope is that you will
want to participate because we will be discussing interesting ideas.
The abilities to interact with your colleagues effectively, to
contribute to a group discussion, and to advocate an informed position are
essential skills that will prepare you for the transition to a professional
career. Your participation grade is
based on your preparedness for class (e.g., having read the assigned reading),
demonstration of a firm grasp of material covered, a willingness to seek
clarification as appropriate, and the ability to integrate concepts and multiple
perspectives. I will grade your
participation according to the following criteria:
the frequency and quality of your contributions
to classroom activities
the frequency and quality of your answers to the
case discussion questions
the quality of your feedback to presentations of
the assessment provided by your fellow team
members of your contribution to team assignments and discussions
The correspondence between letter grades and numerical
percentages is as follows:
90 – 100%
80 – 89%
70 – 79%
0 – 69%
As a PhD course, attendance is not strictly required, but
it is expected (and necessary for a good participation grade). I would
appreciate being notified ahead of time if you are not going to be attending any
You have a responsibility to maintain the highest
standards of academic integrity in
both individual and group work, and to comply with the University of Kentucky
policy on academic integrity. Any
instances of cheating or plagiarism will be subject to the disciplinary
procedures of the University. Please
speak to me if you have any questions about academic integrity or concerns about
any classmate’s behavior. Please bring any ethical questions or concerns to me
before submitting an assignment or participating in an activity (such as
in-class exams and activities). Two
general rules of thumb: When in
doubt about using material, make sure you cite it.
When in doubt about collaborating, sharing, etc., don’t do it without
checking with me.
If you have a documented
disability that requires academic accommodations, please see me as soon as
possible during scheduled office hours. In order to receive accommodations in
this course, you must provide me with a Letter of Accommodation from the
Disability Resource Center (Room 2, Alumni Gym, 257‐2754, email
address firstname.lastname@example.org) for coordination of
campus disability services available to students with disabilities.
The preferred way to contact me is via email (email@example.com).
You can also try my office phone (257-2257) or just drop by my office (B&E
455Y). Office hours are by appointment only, which you can arrange by email.