Social and Information Networks, Spring 2020

General Course Information

Instructor:  Allan Borodin
Email:  bor at cs dot toronto dot edu
Office hours:  TBA, or by appointment, or by taking your chance and dropping in
Lectures:  Usually M,W 15:00-16:00, GB 248
Tutorials:  Usually F 15:00-16:00 GB 248
Course Info Sheet:  course info sheet

Course Description (mainly from Calendar)

A course on how networks underlie social phenomena with an emphasis on developing intuition and reasoning about broadly applicable concepts in network analysis. Topics include: introduction to graph theory and graph theoretic algorithms, social networks and relevant concepts, network dynamics, information networks, network dynamics; information diffusioa, "six derees of separation", community detertion.


Required:  D. Easley and J. Kleinberg, Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World, 3rd Edition, Online version of EK textbook >

Grading Scheme

Assignments:  two worth 15% each; Due dates: February 14 and March 16
Critical review of a current article:  worth 10% ; Tentative date: March 30
Term Test:  worth 20% ; Date: March 4 and 6
Final exam (3 hours):  worth 40%

The term test will be held during one tutorial and one lecture hour on March 4,6. .

The 20% Rule

You will receive 20% of the points for any (sub)problem for which you write "I do not know how to answer this question." You will receive 10% if you leave a question blank. If instead you submit irrelevant or erroneous answers you will receive 0 points. You will receive partial credit for work that is clearly "on the right track." The 20% rule applies to all term work: assignments, the term test, and the final exam.

Assignment Policy

Assignments will be submitted electronically on MarkUs (instructions will follow later). Late assignments will not be accepted.

Regrading Policy

If you believe that there was a significant mistake in how any question was graded, you may submit a one or two paragraph explanation (along with the original grading) as to why you believe the grade you received was a mistake. That explanation will be then re-considered by the grader. Please do not abuse this policy with minor complaints. Grading is subjective to some extent but we are trying to be as generous as possible. Clerical errors (i.e. grades not properly added or entered on Markus) can be rectified by the instructors.

Collaboration Policy and Academic Integrity

You are allowed to discuss assignment questions with other students. You are allowed to consult additional materials, e.g., books, papers, websites. Nonetheless, the writeup of your solutions should be your own and should be done in isolation from other students and resources. In addition, you must clearly identify the names of students you collaborated with (if any) and provide a clear description of additional materials you consulted (if any).

The following rule of thumb might help you ensure that you are writing down your own understanding of a solution: (1) do not use any notes taken during discussions with other students or notes taken when looking at solutions on the iternet, (2) take a one-hour break before writing down a solution after any discussions, (3) First try solving questions by yourself without any help.

Copying or allowing other students to copy solutions is a serious academic offense and will be reported. You might find the Arts and Science website on academic honesty (and references therein) helpful.

Email Policy

I read email regularly, but I do NOT promise to reply to all emails. In particular, if your question is of general interest, then you should post your question on piazza. Tyrone or I will not alwats respond to a question on piazza buy may do so on the following lecture, so that the explanation can be well understood by. In pafrticular, if your question requires a relatively technical answer it may be best to ask it during a lecture, or a tutorial, or office hours.


Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability/health consideration that may require accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services at 416-978-8060;