[Please scroll down for links to presentations and media]


2:00 Welcome

Topic I: Network Science in Teaching

2:15 NetSciHigh video

2:30 Gene Stanley, NetSciHigh: An Infrastructure for Advancing Science Education

2:45 Lucas Jeub, Teach Network Science to Teenagers

3:00 Daniel Abel, Hands-On Network Science with Python Scripting and the Socratic Method

3:15 Toshihiro Tanizawa, Introducing Network Science to Students in a National College of Technology in Japan for Graduation Research Projects

3:30 Erzsebet Regan How To Build Your Very Own Landscape?

3:45 Coffee Break (and NetSci High posters)

Topic II: Education Networks

4:00 Laszlo Barabasi, The Network Science Book Project: translation and next chapters

4:15 Alan Daly, Between You and Me: The Role of Formal and Informal Brokers in the Diffusion of Research Evidence in an Urban School District

4:30 Isabelle Meirelles, The Role of Diagramming in the Design Process of Visualization

4:45 Robin Wilkins, Network Science, Music and the Brain: Community Structure Shows Potential for Music to Affect Learning and Memory

5:00 Max Schich, Nurturing Radical Multidisciplinarity to Understand the Ecology of Complex Networks

5:15 Naoki Masuda, Suicide Ideation in Online Social Networks

5:30 Roundtable The future of Network Science In Education

6:30 Wrap-up and thanks

Abstracts, Presentations and Media

NetSci High: An Infrastructure for Advancing Science Education

Gene Stanley & Paul Trunfio, Center for Polymer Studies, Boston University

We present recent advances towards building a rich and sustainable infrastructure supporting network science concepts, tools and thinking in mainstream science education K-16. The authors discuss their experiences with "NetSci High" which provides rich year-round opportunities for high school students research teams working in partnering research labs. Our approach is to utilize network science as a critical pathway to 21st Century skills, including use and understanding of large-scale data, real-world computer programing, the vanishing barrier between science disciplines and intersection of art, music, politics, security and science. In so doing, students gain perspective on how our complex world is connected (sometimes working together and sometimes not), an important step towards cultivating awareness in young minds.

NetSciHigh Team 1 Prezi

NetSciHigh Team 2 Prezi


Hands-On Network Science with Python Scripting and the Socratic Method

Daniel Abel, Eotvos University (Budapest)

Based on my experience of leading interactive labs for an introductory network science course for undergraduate students with basic math and programming knowledge, I will discuss challenges of holding interactive labs and show some tips and tools for overcoming oravoiding them. I will argue that scripting is an indispensable part of a network science course and discuss how to enable students toactively participate in writing scripts during class. Finally, I will suggest covertly introducing network science into the general curriculum by using it for example problems for programming courses.



Teach Network Science to Teenagers

Lucas Jeub, University of Oxford Mathematical Institute

This talk presents our outreach efforts to introduce school students to network science. Networks, because they are omnipresent and simple to grasp at a basic level, provide an ideal means to motivate students to pursue mathematics and science in greater depth. At our outreach events we use examples from everyday life and some puzzles from graph theory to guide students towards developing their own approach to the problem at hand and discover network principles for themselves. Acting more as facilitators rather than teachers, we aim to give students a taste of the joy of discovery, an aspect of science and mathematics that is often underrepresented in schools. We present our experiences and outlines of our modules in the hope that we can encourage others to participate in and develop similar activities. For those interested in more details, we refer you to our editorial article available at



How to build your very own landscape?

Erzsébet Ravasz Regan, Center for Vascular Biology Research, BIDMC / Harvard Medical School

Teaching high school students to work with new abstract concepts is engaging work. I will tell the story of four dedicated students working their way into modeling a biological regulatory network. The team is building its own software to simulate the dynamics of a small Boolean regulatory network. They calculate the system's state transition graph, the energy of states when the dynamics is noisy, and visualize the state transition network as an energy landscape. The students are learning to write computer code as they go, and are about to start preparing a poster based on their work, a poster I am planning to bring to NetSciEd2013.



Introducing Network Science to Students in a National College of Technology in Japan for Graduation Research Projects

Toshihiro Tanizawa, Kochi National College of Technology, Japan

National Colleges of Technology in Japan were established in 1960's for providing the industries with young engineers ready at work. Each college admits graduates from junior high schools and have a five-year course. Their educational objectives are mainly oriented to providing students with knowledge and skills that can be readily applied to manufacturing industries. I have been working in a National College of Technology as a professor of applied mathematics and physics and thus I have a little different viewpoint in the faculty of my department as a researcher more interested in pure and fundamental science.

In my college, students have to fulfill a one-year research project in their fifth (last) grade for graduation. According to the educational objectives, most graduate research projects in my college are relating to making "real things" such as improved mechanical or electrical devices. Due to my own inclination toward research activity, however, I have been offering research topics taken from network science, which do not MAKE real things but seek the ways for UNDERSTANDING how complex systems work. In this talk I like to share the processes and the results of these research projects to see how the students studying applied engineering come to realize the wide range of applicability of abstract mathematical perspectives seen in network science to real problems.



The Network Science Book Project: translation and next chapters

Laszlo Barabasi, Northeastern University


Between You and Me: The Role of Formal and Informal Brokers in the Diffusion of Research Evidence in an Urban School District

Alan J. Daly, University of California, San Diego;

Kara Finnigan, University of Rochester;

Nienke Mooleaar, University of Twente

A number of scholars across the globe are drawing on Network Science to understand educational improvement processes. Insights from this work suggest that the quantity and quality of social ties between and among educators, both horizontally (within district offices and schools) and vertically (across district and school), may support and constrain efforts at educational reform. However, to date only a fraction of that work directly examines the interactions between educational leaders as they go about the work of improving large urban school systems. Further, even less of that research focuses on examining the alignment between “formal” leadership roles and largely “informal” positions in a social network. In addressing these gaps, we drew on social network methods and interviews to examine leaders who hold formal “brokerage” roles in the district in order to understand the degree to which these individuals occupy broker positions in an informal social network. In addition, we drew on a classification system offered by Fernandez and Gould (1989) to categorize the particular types of brokerage roles that are being enacted. Results indicate a lack of congruence between formal and informal systems and often leaders in formal brokerage positions engage these roles with significant variation. Additional findings suggest that the diffusion of evidence is shaped by formal and informal brokers, which may ultimately inhibit a systemic and coherent approach to improvement.



The Role of Diagramming in the Design Process of Visualizing Information

Isabel Meirelles, Northeastern University

Visualization of information depends upon cognitive processes and visual perception for both its creation (encoding) and its use (decoding). Since visualizations are intrinsically schematic, it is fair to ask, what does diagramming in visualization processes entail? I would argue that there are two types of diagramming activities used as catalysts in visualization processes: diagramming as a technique for solving design problems (manipulating and structuring systems), and diagrams used as communication tools (synthesizing into structured systems). The two types of diagramming activities can be considered siblings, but not twins, as they serve different purposes in the design process. As agents in visualization processes both types of diagramming affect the final representation. The presentation will examine these issues by looking into historical examples as well as the process of solving information design problems by undergraduate students in the United States.



Network Science, Music and the Brain: Community Structure Shows Potential for Music to Affect Learning and Memory

Wilkins, R.W.a,b,c , Hodges, D.A.c, Laurienti, P.J.a , and Burdette, J.H.a

aLaboratory for Complex Brain Networks, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157

bJoint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, University of North Carolina Greensboro, NC 27403

cMusic Research Institute, University of North Carolina Greensboro, NC 27403

Young people often enjoy listening to—and learning—music. Emerging research indicates there are influential effects of musical experiences on the brain. Research results show that there are changes in both brain structure (e.g., corpus callosum, auditory cortex, motor areas, etc.) and function; trained musicians process auditory information differently from controls. However, from a broader perspective, there are psychological, emotional, and behavioral consequences of music learning. Although we are beginning to understand the effects of music, the effects on the brain remain largely unexplored. Recently, we applied techniques from Network Science to fMRI data collected while people listened to complete songs. Our results demonstrate that experiences of listening to highly preferred music change the community structure within the brain’s Default Mode Network—a network implicated in autobiographical memory and awareness of self. Our results also show that listening to music changes the community structure between the hippocampus—a region known for memory encoding—and the auditory cortex. These findings may contribute to our understanding of the effects of music on learning and development within educational settings. This presentation offers evidence that network science techniques provide an opportunity to study the dynamic effects of musical experiences on the brain.


Nurturing Radical Multidisciplinarity to Understand the Ecology of Complex Networks

Maximilian Schich, The University of Texas at Dallas

Over the last decade, a growing number of disciplines have identified complex networks as a relevant, even essential subject of study. Indeed, an "ecology of complex networks" seems to emerge from explosively growing amounts of data, permeating, and to some extent "percolating", all of academia. A consequence of this situation is renaissance of multidisciplinary perspectives and approaches that comes with a number of challenges for education. While some disciplines such as the arts and humanities struggle with the necessary mathematics and computer science, other disciplines, such as physics, are confronted with centuries worth of qualitative scholarship. Overcoming these challenges, by reconfiguring education, provides us with the chance to accelerate research in the upcoming generation.

Hoping to spark an interesting discussion, I will share some experiences in my mission to mitigate the existing challenges by teaching the ecology of complex networks to students and audiences from a wide heterogeneity of backgrounds.


Suicide Ideation in Online Social Networks

Naoki Masuda, University of Tokyo

Suicide is a major cause of death for adolescents in many countries. We examined a data set obtained from a social networking service in Japan. The social network is composed of a set of friendship ties whose creation needs mutual endorsement of the two users involved. We statistically examined users' characteristics, both related and unrelated to social networks, which contributed to suicide ideation. Suicide ideation of a user was defined as the membership to at least one active user-defined community related to suicide. We found that the number of communities to which a user belongs to, the intransitivity, and the fraction of suicidal neighbors in the social network, contributed the most to suicide ideation in this order. We found similar results for depressive symptoms.



NetSci High poster:

An Analysis of the Networks of Product Creation and Trading in the Virtual Economy of Team Fortress 2

Dan Seel, Per Andre Stromhaug, Carol Reynolds (Vestal High School)

Kristie Shirreffs, Hiroki Sayama (Binghamton University)