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Bacon, Small-Worlds, and Your Important Friends: Social Network Theory Explained

University of Birmingham (15/11/2010) and University of Leicester (19/11/2010).

Samuel Hansen & Peter Rowlett

Rarely can a day pass without hearing the words "Social Network", but what exactly do these words mean? Social Network Theory is a very young discipline that has intrigued some of the best minds in many different fields, including: Mathematics and Sociology. In our talk we will give a precise definition of Social Networks and outline much of the mathematical foundation of the study of Social Networks. We will also explain just why "Weak Ties" are actually quite strong, why "Your Friends are More Important than You", and just why it really may be a "Small-World" after all. Peppered with real life examples, some even about Bacon, and audience participation, this talk will make sure you never think of Social networks the same way again.