Greenwich Summer School on Social Network Analysis

From June 17 to June 25, 2013, the University of Greenwich held a Summer School on Social Network Analysis which I attended (for an overview of alternatives, see here). The University is home to the Centre for Business Network Analysis, which is headed by Bruce Cronin. The way the center is positioned is rather unique and, to my knowledge, the only comparable entity is the LINKS Center for Social Network Analysis in Kentucky, which is run by Dan Brass. Several courses were offered at the summer school, some for beginners, others for more advanced students. I took the course on models of longitudinal network analysis which was organized and lead by Guido Conaldi. Continue reading Greenwich Summer School on Social Network Analysis

Thoughts on the 5th Trier Summer School on Social Network Analysis #tsna

I spent most of last week at the 5th Trier Summer School on Social Network Analysis. I have to say that Mar­kus Gam­per, Andreas Herz and Richard Heidler were doing a great job as lecturers and convenors of the workshops. John Padgett from the University of Chicago held an inspiring keynote speech on the first night talking about his enduring work on the Medici.

The first two days were filled with theory (an excellent, extensive reading list was provided prior to the course), the last 3.5 days were practical training with real data using different types of software, namely PajekGephi, Vennmaker and R. While I was already familiar with a number of the readings and concepts discussed, the use of the different software tools for data entry, visualization and analysis was still new to me. Although we discussed a number of interesting data sets, the most entertaining one was the network of Richard’s wedding party where people were seated at tables based on friendship cliques. I guess you can tell that Richard treasures his profession and discipline 😉

5te trierer summer school 21

The most valuable bit of the week was probably a session that could best be translated as ‘research consultancy’. Everyone had the chance to submit their project proposals by the beginning of the summer in order to have them reviewed by the researchers listed above. I have had some feedback on my work from colleagues in my discipline when attending the AOM2011, however the summer school was a great chance to collect more ideas in methodological terms. Richard made me aware of the use of R for generating stochastic models of networks and conducting significance tests, for example.

Throughout the week I paid closer (than usual) attention to the #SNA hashtag on Twitter and discovered a few interesting posts. There is an active Gephi community in Berlin. Furthermore, I discovered niche sites for SNA in historical research and SNA in organizational research. Last but not least, I came across a new tool for managerial network analysis called Socilyzer.

List of Social Network Courses in Europe

One particularly useful source of information that I draw on frequently is the SOCNET mailing list. Sometime towards the end of last year Christopher Tunnard collected information on the different types of social network courses being offered internationally. He consequently collected the data in a spreadsheet and you can now browse all courses by institution, instructor, category and name. I think this is pretty helpful when you’re trying to locate a course near you in a particular academic field. So, if you’re based in Europe and you’re interested in organization studies, psychology and communications – just like myself – you may find the following courses insightful:

Aarhus University: Introductory Social Network Analysis & Organizational Network Analysis

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona: Theory, Methods and Applications of Social Networks (Summer School)

University of Essex: Introduction & Advanced Social Network Analysis (Summer School)

University of Glasgow: Assessing the Impact of Social Networks on Organizational Performance

University of Greenwich: Business Networks

Universität Trier: Sum­mer School on So­ci­al Net­work Ana­ly­sis

Tilburg University: Interorganizational Relationships