Week 3 (Sep 5, 7, 9):

Monday: Networks… and Why They Matter?

Writing Assignment 1: First draft due before class.

Study Guide:

Read Healy’s “Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere”. Consider the following questions:

  • Who was the key person involved in “terrorist groups operating within the Colonies”? How did the “junior analytical scribe” at the old “Royal Security Administration” find him out? (What is the “metadata”?)
  • What are the most important characteristics of the method used by the junior analytical scribe? Compared to the “distant reading” methods: What assumptions does it make? What are its particular strengths and weaknesses?

Read Six Degree, pp. 19-37 and consider:

  • What problems with modern science has the author identified? To understand how human society functions, what does the author suggest we focus on?

Wednesday: The Small World

Study Guide:

  • Read the assigned pages from Six Degrees and Linked. Consider: What is the “small world” problem? What is “mysterious” about it? How does network scientists account for the mystery?
  • What, according to Sindbæk, makes long-distance communications possible in the Viking Age? Was the Viking Age as “globalized” as the world we live in today? Look carefully at figs. 4-6, which visualize the same data in different ways. What features in the network of communications does each visualization emphasize? What do the nodes and edges in each figure stand for?

Friday: Correspondences and Networks of Influence & Writings Workshop: How to Revise an Essay

Study Guide:

  • What conclusions does Gingras draw from his study? What data does he use?
  • Compare Gingras’s work with Healy’s work on Paul Revere. Both take a network approach to solving a historical problem, but they use the network approach in different ways. What structural properties of a network does each focus on?