First Class

After getting to know each other a little bit, we chatted about what a “network” means, at least in the context of the seminar. A couple of you are in the seminar hoping to learn more about computer networks. At least one of you is interested in the seminar because I mentioned the twitter network in the course description. All of these are valid reasons to be part of this group and to emphasize the rather broad scope of the seminar I showed 4 rather different examples of networks.

Then everyone got into the activity of creating a random student network for our class.There were 17 students in attendance and for each pair of students, one of the students in the pair tossed a coin to determine if the pair would shake hands. This resulted in plenty of hand shaking, which is of course perfect for the first day of class and it also resulted in a random graph that we will discuss and analyze in our next class.

Homework for next class (8/25):

  1. Get a copy of the course textbook by Barabasi and read “The First Link” (Chapter 1).
  2. Chapter 1 briefly describes the case of “Mafiaboy.” Read more about this case in this 2001 article in PC World.

Come prepared to discuss these readings in class. See you on Tuesday!


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