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University of California, Davis

Social Network Analysis

University of California, Davis via Coursera


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This course is designed to quite literally ‘make a science’ out of something at the heart of society: social networks. Humans are natural network scientists, as we compute new network configurations all the time, almost unaware, when thinking about friends and family (which are particular forms of social networks), about colleagues and organizational relations (other, overlapping network structures), and about how to navigate delicate or opportunistic network configurations to save guard or advance in our social standing (with society being one big social network itself). While such network structures always existed, computational social science has helped to reveal and to study them more systematically. In the first part of the course we focus on network structure. This looks as static snapshots of networks, which can be intricate and reveal important aspects of social systems. In our hands-on lab, you will also visualize and analyze a network with a software yourself, which will help to appreciate the complexity social networks can take on. During the second part of the course, we will look at how networks evolve in time. We ask how we can predict what kind of network will form and if and how we could influence network dynamics.


  • Getting Started and Formalizing Networks
    • In this module, you will be introduced to the concept of networks. You will be able to define networks and identify how data is transformed and analyzed in a network. You will able be able to discuss how to formalize networks.
  • Social Network Analysis
    • In this module, you will be able to discuss the structure of networks and be able to explain how a person can be the center of one. You will be able to discover the different types of language that networks use and be able to identify the three types of network measurements.
  • Analyzing a Network with Software
    • In this module, you will begin with a social network analysis lab activity. You will be able to do data wrangling of databases and visualize a network. You will be able to analyze a social network and also be able to examine other social network analysis through case studies.
  • Network Evolution
    • In this module, you will be able to identify the different types of social networks. You will be able to discuss what mechanisms generates these different types of networks and you will be able to explain how networks move from being static to dynamic.
  • Growing Networks and Making Predictions
    • In this module, you will be able to examine theoretical predictions of networks. You will be able to calculate basic math problems and be able to discuss how to make networks more efficient and stable.

Taught by

Martin Hilbert


5.0 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 225 ratings

Start your review of Social Network Analysis

  • Anonymous
    Social Network Analysis is a powerful research method that is used across multiple disciplines. I have found this component of the series to be useful in reinforcing previous knowledge as well as furthering my expertise in network theory through pra…
  • Anonymous
    This course allowed me to understand social networks and network structures and how it plays in our society. Computational social science has allowed us to systematically break down these structures which lead us to more understanding of our social systems. The lab was really the part that shined in this course. I was able to visually see how networks are currently, how they evolved, and what it can become in different scenarios. Overall, if you are interested in social networks then this is the course for you!
  • Anonymous
    This and the computer simulation course are my personal favorites in this series. The instructors are engaging and give great real-life examples to show off social networks. I learned great information about the power of a person's network, and how we actually are so connected in society (six degrees of separation!). Definitely recommended if anyone is interested in how humanity is socially connected, or just interested in learning how to analyze a social network.
  • Anonymous
    One of my favorites lessons. I highly recommend you participate in the exercises instead of just continuing on with the video, they really do help you learn the concepts. SNA is hard but this course is very good at providing an overview of SNA and the cool stuff you can do with it.
  • Anonymous
    This course has really taught me how to use the science of social networking in practical matters. Also, the professors are very good at teaching complex concepts, there are questions to feed back the information they teach and a good community of learners.

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