Networks and Social Media
GSM IS 832
As the penetration of online and mobile technologies continues to advance, instant messaging, mobile phone communication, micro-blogs, and online social networks are shaping how we interact with the world and each other. The explosion of data surrounding these interactions is a powerful microscope that permits research into behaviors and their social and economic outcomes at an unprecedented scale and level of detail orders of magnitude greater than what was previously possible. The emerging field of network science describes these interconnections and gives us tools to understand their importance to our natural, social and business environments. This course will introduce the theory and practice of network science and cover numerous applications in the realms of business, health and politics. We will explore questions such as: How can firms and policy makers harness the power of social media? How can we promote or discourage population level change? How do behavioral contagions form and become viral? What is the value of a tweet? Topics may include: network structure and dynamics; social network analysis; weak and strong ties; structural holes; homophily; community structure; information propagation and cascades in networks; the dynamics of influence; social and behavioral contagions; word of mouth; viral product design; strategic competition; crowdsourcing; incentives and gamification; and others.