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Networks connecting humans

In this step we explain what we are going to do this week.
Networks by Storyblocks

Humans are a very social species, and they interact a lot. These interactions may address the exchange of information, the sharing of norms, and the transmission of viruses, to name a few examples. Our network history starts with thousands of generations of hunter gatherers, living in relative small tribes and families.

This week we will explore some of the fundamentals of interactions within such networks. Because network dynamics evolve over longer time periods, and involve large numbers of people, it is difficult to experiment with them effectively in a real-world setting. Therefore, social scientists increasingly use computer simulations to study the dynamics of social networks.

This week you will learn about some key concepts of social networks, in particular, how people form closely knitted groups (which is called clustering), and how fast information may travel from one end of a network to another (which is called path-length). You will play with easy-to-use simulation models to get hands-on experience with the dynamics of networks and these key concepts of network theory.

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Social Network Analysis: The Networks Connecting People

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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