MCSN 2019 assignments

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Notes on the assignment schedule

The assignment schedule itself will be developed as the course progresses, in consultation with students and according to student feedback. Please check back often. New assignments will be posted the previous week.

Remember that all assignments are to be submitted via eClass ( - not by email or hardcopy. (On eClass you'll find a single submission link for each day.) They are due before class on the day assigned (e.g. by 11 am). Without an approved excuse late work will decremented 3 percentage points per day or fraction thereof, and make-up quizzes will not be given without such excuse. Please see syllabus on for the details.

Some homework answers consist of prose, while others require network diagrams. You can prepare diagrams in your word processor (for instance, see MS Word's "Drawing" toolbar), but far better to prepare them as Pajek ".net" files. Or hand-draw and submit images if appropriate. Note that all assignments are to be submitted via eClass in a single upload, so if you have more than one file zip them all together in some logical way.

On the readings: ESNAP and other books

When reading ESNAP be sure to try out all the applications and exercises using Pajek on your own computer! These practical applications are very important both for understanding concepts, and fluency with the software. If you have problems, ask!

It's also important just to play - try things! Have fun with it. The worst that can happen is it'll crash. (But note that if you reset options they may stick around the next session.)

Occasionally I'll suggest optional readings by reference to ESNAP chapters they complement. You may also like to browse these optional books. Wasserman and Faust contains more rigorous explanations of all the topics in ESNAP; I haven't marked these as optional readings, but feel free to refer to their Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications as needed. Likewise, browse Hanneman and Riddle's Introduction to social network methods, which covers largely the same material as ESNAP but permuted (and using software that runs only on Windows machines).

Books and Software

The following abbreviations are used to indicate books for readings in the table below. All readings are online; most are available on Rutherford Reserve and several are also at the SUB bookstore. (For additional sources see


(See book list above for direct links to online books)

Week Date Topics and Assignments Date Topics and Assignments
1 03-Sep Introductions and SN exercise. Intro to MCSN as Ethnomusicology. Social structure, social networks, SNA. Examples in music culture. Course mechanics: 3 streams (SNA, readings, project). Tools: course wiki, eClass, Pajek, readings, reading reviews, quizzes, assignments. Survey. 05-Sep Read: Crossley ch. 1; skim Barabasi ch. 1. Install Pajek on your computer. (Let me know if you have trouble - I can help.) Submit (on eClass): Barabasi ch. 1 homework, but applied to MUSIC networks. Submit (also eClass): About Me. (all submissions on eClass:
2 10-Sep Read ESNAP prefaces & ch. 1 ("Looking for Social Structure"), completing all the exercises as you go, including applications via Pajek (don't worry if you don't understand something or can't quite finish; we'll discuss). Also read Crossley ch. 2 (selectively, to reinforce concepts - you don't have to absorb the whole thing right away), and watch the short video Connecting with Networks: Mathematics Illuminated. For fun: play around with the game Planaritify, available for iOS or Android 12-Sep Quiz #1: SNA basics, based on definitions. I will ask questions very similar to those in ESNAP 1.6 (but not necessarily multiple choice). Also: reread: Crossley, ch. 1, and submit review (2 parts: summary, and critique. 1-2 paragraphs max. Review Crossley chapter 2 if you didn't finish it for last Tuesday. This will also provide good review for the quiz. Also in class: one-mode (friends) vs two mode nets (e.g. bands and venues; musicians and bands; youtube videos and likes...), how to generate the former from the latter, and some examples (starting with the class survey and including also Netlogo web) to stir your thinking about research projects.).
3 17-Sep Read ESNAP ch. 2 ("Attributes and Relations"), completing all exercises as you go, and trying out every operation in Pajek. Also review/reread Crossley ch. 2 (finish it if you didn't do that last week). Begin to think about possible projects (we'll discuss on Thursday), and whether you'd like to carry out a survey or mine existing data. In class we'll go over ESNAP together. I'll also review the quiz. 19-Sep Discussion: your project ideas. Everyone will present their ideas for feedback from the class. Submit: your idea in a single paragraph: define the network, its significance, how you plan to collect the data, and what basic questions you seek to answer? Also submit: the network, partitions, and vectors you created on Tuesday (finish them up first). Note: on I've listed a bunch of SNA datasets and ideas for research on music networks; please review for possible inspiration.
4 24-Sep Read ESNAP ch. 3 ("Cohesive Subgroups"), completing all exercises as you go, and trying out every operation in Pajek. Also download Alex Arena's jazz musician collaboration dataset and associated information, and analyze the network for cohesion, answering the following questions: (1) how dense is the network overall? (2) what is the average degree? (3) can you extract subnetworks that are even more dense? (hint: use a degree partition); (4) how many components are there? (5) (if you have time) analyze for k-cores (and have a look at the associated paper) 26-Sep
5 01-Oct 03-Oct Submit: project proposal draft.
6 08-Oct 10-Oct Quiz #2.
7 15-Oct Submit: project proposal rewrite. 17-Oct
8 22-Oct Submit: annotated project bibliography. 24-Oct
9 29-Oct 31-Oct Submit: project paper outline.
10 05-Nov 07-Nov Quiz #3.
11 12-Nov No class (Reading Week) 14-Nov No class (Reading Week)
12 19-Nov 21-Nov
13 26-Nov Student presentations 28-Nov Student presentations
14 03-Dec Student presentations 05-Dec Student presentations. Last day of class.
15 10-Dec 12-Dec
16 17-Dec Final paper due 19-Dec Happy Holidays!!