Public Release: 

National Academies advisory: May 1 Symposium on Understanding Social Networks

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

The computational analysis of social networks has recently become a hot topic at the interface of computer science, the social sciences, and statistical physics. This is largely due to the explosive growth of the Web and the Internet. The link structure on the Web allows us to examine the relationships among interests, topics, and people. Do individuals truly have six degrees of separation from one another? What do so-called Web communities look like? To what extent can their complexity be captured by mathematical formulas?

At this public symposium, which will take place during the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, panelists will explore these questions, as well as the methods -- computational, mathematical, and social-science -- used by researchers to better understand Web communities. They will also discuss economics and game theory, and the effects of connectivity on the marketplace.

DETAILS: Sunday, May 1, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the auditorium of the National Academies building, 2100 C St., N.W., Washington, D.C.


  • Michael Kearns, professor, department of computer and information science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

  • Duncan Watts, associate professor of sociology, Columbia University, New York City

  • Tim Roughgarden, assistant professor of computer science, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

For more information, call the National Academy of Sciences at 202 334-2444.


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