General Course Information

Instructor:  Ian Berlot-Attwell
Email:  course contact info (also on Quercus)
Office hours:  Monday, 4-5PM (Zoom Link on Quercus). Note, Wed 10PM and Fri 10AM are available if you email me a day in advance. If none of these times work, I am available by appointment.
Lectures:  M,W 15:00-16:00, Zoom (link on Quercus)
Tutorial:  F 15:00-16:00, Zoom links on Quercus
Online [A-Z]: Section # 1
In-Person [A-P]: Section #2; (when in-person resumes, HA 401)
In-Person [Q-Z]: Section #3; (when in-person resumes, HA 410)
Course Syllabus:  course syllabus
Discussion Board (Piazza):  link
MarkUs:  link

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, social networks and relevant concepts, congestion games, information networks, network dynamics, information diffusion, "six degrees of separation", community detection.


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

Participation:  worth 5%; through open-book infinite-retry quizzes (will be posted to Quercus, best answered during tutorial)
Assignments:  two worth 15% each; Due dates: February 18 and March 28
Critical review of a current article:  worth 10% ; Due date: March 25
Term Test (open-book and take-home):  worth 20% ; Released Mar 11 at 12:01AM and due Mar 13 at 12:50PM (Toronto time - note daylight savings)
Final Assessment (open-book and take-home):  worth 35%; 48 hour window, starts April 18th at 19:00 Toronto time (i.e. 7PM), and ends April 20th at 19:00 Toronto time (see Tests tab for details)

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." If instead you submit irrelevant, erroneous, or blank 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. Late assignments not accepted by MarkUs will not be accepted by us. Accommodation will be made for medical reasons. All students will be given 12 two-hour grace tokens at the start of the term via MarkUs. Each token is single-use and extends the deadline by 2 hours. These tokens can only be used to extend either the A1, A2, or critical review deadlines. You can use (or not use) them as you see fit. To give an example, you can use all your tokens to extend the deadline of only A1 by 24 hours, or you could use them all to extend the deadlines of A1, A2 and the critical review all by 8 hours. MarkUs will automatically deduct the token(s), there is no need to notify us. Note that for group work, all team-members must have the required number of tokens, and the tokens will be deducted from all members.

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 instructor.

Collaboration Policy and Academic Integrity

You are allowed to discuss assignment questions ( NOT test or final 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 internet, (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. I will not always respond to a question on Piazza but may do so on the following lecture, so that the explanation can be well understood by all. In particular, 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;


You are responsible for knowing material discussed in the tutorials; information provided in lectures and tutorials are fair game for assignments and tests. Attendance is not taken and does not directly affect the grade.