Fall 2013 - Graduate Course Description
Schich, Maximilian
Discipline and Number
ATEC 6389 Section: 001
R Time: 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title:
Networks and History


Networks and history are intertwined: As we study history, we are confronted with a non-intuitive heterogeneity of complex networks. These complex networks connect things, concepts, individuals, locations, and events. Understanding the non-trivial dynamics and evolution of these networks becomes mission critical to historical inquiry. At the same time we have to deal with exponential or even super-exponential growth rates in our data.

In this course we will combine qualitative and quantitative approaches to identify and tackle the challenges of networked phenomena throughout history. The course caters to and benefits from curious students with diverse backgrounds, such as ATEC, EMAC, and all flavors of Arts & Humanities. Coding, math, data wrangling, and visualization skills are welcome, while not necessary. Arts and Humanities students with more traditional backgrounds are equally encouraged to enrich the discussion.


We will discuss current literature relevant to the topic.

Recommended reading includes:
- D. Christian, W.H. McNeill: "Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History" (The University of California Press, Los Angeles, CA, 2011).
- P. Holme, J. Saramäki: "Temporal networks" Physics Reports 519, 97-125 (2012).
- M. Schich, I. Meirelles, R. Malina (Eds.): "Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks" (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA 2012). [intros and relevant contributions]
- G. Kubler: "The Shape of Time" (Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1962). [still rocking!]


- Regular attendance;
- Discussion in class;
- Project proposal;
- Project presentation and paper (7-10 pages or 2500-3500 words).

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