Title: Networks in social systems
Abstract: The spread of memes and misinformation on social media, political redistricting, interactions in animal populations, and the dynamics of voters during elections are among the many things that people study in the field of complex systems. All of these phenomena involve the interactions of individual parts, which come together to produce rich, complex collective dynamics. Obtaining a better understanding of how these interacting parts–whether they are Twitter accounts, penguins, or voters–respond to each other and to their environment also has potentially important implications for society. In this talk, I will discuss how complex social systems can be modeled and analyzed from a network-theory perspective. We will investigate various network properties and highlight common themes that appear across different social networks. To gain insight into why certain properties emerge, I will introduce several generative mathematical models of networks. Finally, we will discuss some generalizations of networks and exciting areas of current research.
Professor Zinn-Brooks teaches at Harvey Mudd College.