Theory and Application of Complex Networks

Fall 2008

Instructor: Dave Feldman
Email: dave@h0rnacek.c0a.3du
Office: Second Floor, Turrets Annex
Phone: x249, 276-5284
Mailing List: networks@h0rnacek.c0a.3du
Teaching Assistant: Sam Heller
Office Hours: Wed, 6:30-8:00 in Tab and by appointment


Students who successfully complete this course will gain: The first part of the course will be somewhat lecture-heavy, as I want to cover a lot of material fairly quickly. As the course progresses, however, I expect the class to shift from lecture to seminar-style discussions.

Required Text: None. There will be quite a few handouts and lots of online papers. You might want to get a binder.


Your evaluation will be based loosely on the following: I will assign grades (for those who so opt) by following the guidelines on page 8 of the COA Course Catalog. I do not have any quota of A's, B's, etc. In general, I recommend against grades; I believe they are more likely than not to interfere with genuine, reflective learning.

Policies, Advice, etc

  1. The final version of this and related documents can be found on the course web page,
  2. There will be approximately five required homework assignments. Chronically late homework assignments may result in me mentioning this in your narrative evaluation and may result in a lowering of your grade.
  3. You are strongly encouraged to work together on homework. You can also consult me, other faculty, the TA, friends, and family. However, the homework you hand in must represent your own understanding.
  4. Information on what is expected in homework solutions can be found in a separate document.
  5. Information on what is expected for your blog writing can be found in a separate document.
  6. Information on what is expected for your wikipedia writing can be found in a separate document. (Coming soon.)
  7. As I plan on sending out homework assignments and other information via email, it is important that you check your email regularly. You should also read the blog frequently, roughly every other day.
  8. I expect you to attend class.
  9. Academic misconduct -- cheating, plagiarizing, etc. -- is bad. Any cases of academic misconduct will result in a judicial hearing, as per pp. 14-15 of the COA handbook. Possible consequences range from failure of the assignment to expulsion. For more, see the revised statement on academic integrity passed by the faculty several winters ago.
  10. I haven't taught this class before, so I'm not certain how it will go. I'm quite confident, however, that it will go very well and be a lot of fun.
  11. I think this class will teach you a lot about networks, which is a fun, widely applicable, accessible, and rapidly developing area of study. You will also learn some broadly applicable mathematics, learn about the culture and practice of scientific research, and gain insight into what distinguishes excellent research from mediocre research.
  12. I have constructed this class to allow you to connect the central content of the course with other interests of yours. Through your blog posts and class presentations, you will teach others in the class. The success of this course thus depends on everyone in the class engaging the material and bringing energy, enthusiasm, and intellect to class activities.