Course: Soc Sci 240A-B-C social networks and complexity

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2011 winter Soc Sci 240B -- SEM SOC NETWORKS sem A (71500) (Open to UNDERGRADUATES) Instructor Douglas White Meets every other Friday at 1:30 in AIRB 3030 UCI (Anteater I&R Bld), see schedule at University of California Multi-Campus Complexity Events 2010-2011 beginning Friday Sept 24, 2010 at 1:30.

  • This course (grad and undergrad) is a live interactive videoconference with UC speakers and other leading researchers in the Complexity Sciences - The coursework report is a coverage of a current or past (streaming video) speaker.
  • School of Social Sciences wiki
  • Announcement: First talk - Douglas R. White


SOC SCI 240A (2010 fall Soc Sci 240A) SOC SCI 240B (2010 winter 71500) SEM "SOC NETWORKS" SOC SCI 240C SPRING 2010 - MAY BE TAKEN SUCCESSIVE QUARTERS FWS and Repeated two YEARS in Succession - CONTENT NEVER REPEATS

1.3 credits per quarter, the course runs as a colloquium with hours summing over 3 quarters to the equivalent of 4 credits. You can take 1,2,3,4,5,6 or as many quarters as you want since it never repeats. One short paper per year on a speaker, past, present or future, is the only requirement, length depending on how many credits you intend to take, e.g. 3 pp for 1 quarter, 5 for 2, 7 for 3. If you miss a session you can always view it afterward by on-line streaming video.

Undergraduates and graduate students may take this seminar for credit F-W-S or 1-2 quarters per year and repeat from year to year as lectures will always vary with fresh sets of speakers.

The class meets in the (click-->) videoconference workshop as the UCI component of the four-campus Human Sciences and Complexity VideoSeminars that meets designated fridays starting October 6 and to which you may invite other students and faculty. Past seminars are available on the site as streaming videos. Social Networks/Human Sciences and Complexity Intercampus VideoSeminar

Special opportunity

Option for grade: Splicing the soundtrack of a streaming video to the speaker's powerpoint. Why? This creates a closer connection between the speakers voice and the listener's ability to synch the powerpoint. And it allows closer study and understanding of the lecture. The Flash videos in *.wmf begin on 10/16/2010 and will continue into 2010-2011 academic year. Completed example: F. Eugene Yates - Conjectures on Consciousness.

Podcast how-to: Students can receive special instruction from UCI podcast expert Stephen Franklin to create audio podcasts with shortened ppt slides for our best videos. That would constitute not only a great opportunity for students but fulfill the class assignment for a full year.


Meetings listed at <University of California Complexity Events> - approximately every other Friday, usually 1:30 - 3:00. UCI 3030 Anteater I&R Bldg. THE MARSCHAK LECTURES ARE SOMETHING EXTRA, OUR COLLOQUIUM PROPER CONSISTS OF THOSE FOR Human Sciences and Complexity. You are invited of course to the Marschak series (those included deal with complexity, at least tangentially) but they are by no means required.


For background on networks and complexity see Complexity in human behavior.

Assignment (light: emphasis here is on attending the seminars)

In the course of the year (or quarter), select one of the speakers in the videoconference series to do a written report on aspects of their research that are relevent to networks and complexity, or a topic of your choice. This report should be distributed two weeks in advance of the speaker, and emailed to drwhite [at] to seminar members, It will be discussed the week before in a special video session for seminar members. An alternative for the short paper is to pick a past video lecture from and when you find something you like send a 2-page discussion to satisfy the grade requirement for participation.


In addition to the intermittent Friday videoconferences (totaling part of the 30 hours over FWS for 4 course credits), students can meet with the instructor for collateral discussions through an International Flashmeeting course setup hosted through the OPEN UNIVERSITY. Students participate from their internet coonnections. Its quite an amazing technology. We are the leading academic institution in this country in the use of this instructional and communicative technology.

Suggested readings

Basic reading: [What is Complex Systems Science?] Paul Bourgine and Michel Morvan (Latest version), writing for [ONCE-CS], the Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems] and its [Registry].

[The Emergence Paradigm] Chapter 10 from R. Keith Sawyer, 2005. [Social Emergence: Societies as Complex Systems].

Research papers are also available at the site of the [ECCS Social and Historical Dynamics Workshop]. Co-Hosted with the James Martin Institute for science and civilization

[Living Roadmap for Complex Systems Science]

Access to [the instructor's (drw) pdfs here] and the hosted Complexity Sciences wiki here.


Students in the seminar are from Sociology, Political Science, Economics, DASA, MBS, Cog Sci, ICS, Bren School of Business, Statistics, and Anthropology.


The seminar is sponsored by the [Social Dynamics and Complexity Research Group] in IMBS, and supported by the Human Complex Systems (HCS) undergraduate major program at UCLA.

Social Networks focus

If you are interested in the Social Network focus, you should own [Exploratory Network Analysis with Pajek] and get the [downloadable data files that go with each chapter]. Together these constitute a network analysis practicum to accompany the book, by Wouter de Nooy, and pajek authors Andrej Mrvar, and Vladimir Batagelj -- by installing Pajek at home and unzipping datafiles, you can work through the book, turning in exercises and analyses at the rate of two per week for project credit, including a report on and intensive analysis of a dataset.

[right click to download network files in an self-explotidng file]

Human Complex Systems (HCS) Courses 2007

Undergrad, UCI, Fall 2007: Human Social Complexity and World Cultures

Grad Seminar, UCI, Fall 2007: Network Theory and Social Complexity

Human Complex Systems (HCS) Courses 2008

Undergrad, Grad: UCI, Fall-Winter-Spring 2007-2008: Course: social networks & complexity

Grad Seminar, UCI, Spring 2008 (taught at UCSD, UCI students by interactive video): Anthropological Models and Methods 2008

UCI eee pages

Undergrad, UCLA