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Connecting The Dots
10/27/2010 | Catherine Cramer, (OCEAN)
Tags: COSEE OCEAN, networks, network science, visualization, data

connecting the dots
What do the words in Huckleberry Finn, traffic in Tokyo, the median income of homeless people in Los Angeles, the use of Twitter in elections, the diagnosis of diabetes, and the cellular structure of the brain all have in common? They are all the subjects of network analysis in case studies presented during the Connecting the Dots symposium on network visualization, held at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University on October 22, 2010. COSEE OCEAN team members Bob Chen, Carol Baldassari and Catherine Cramer attended the all-day symposium to learn more about the practice of Network Science.

The theme of the symposium was network visualization - how the results of a network analysis are represented, as "pictures" of networks changing over time. Among the examples:

Questions for COSEE OCEAN:

  • How would we visually represent how scientists have been impacted by COSEE over the last 10 years?
  • Would an analysis of the prevalence of words relating to education and outreach in ASLO abstracts reveal usable data?
  • Which COSEE-related data collections will produce useful analysis?
  • Who in the COSEE Network is collaborating, and is it predictable?
  • What quantifiable data reflects the robustness of the connections between scientists and educators?
  • If we put out a challenge to the Network, would they be motivated to join?

We left at the end of the symposium feeling inspired, and contemplating the art of defining the problem: the questions that COSEE OCEAN will aim to answer through network analysis. And some of us are eager to try the NodeXL visualization tool.

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