About this course

The course invites you to examine the interconnectedness of modern life through an exploration of fundamental questions about how our social, economic, and technological worlds are connected. Students will explore game theory, the structure of the Internet, social contagion, the spread of social power and popularity, and information cascades.

This MOOC is based on an interdisciplinary Cornell University (US) course entitled Networks, taught by professors David Easley, Jon Kleinberg, and Eva Tardos. That course was also the basis for the book, Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World. This course is designed at the introductory undergraduate level without formal prerequisites.

What you'll learn

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Use the tools of graph theory as a basis for studying the Internet social networks, and the process of Web search;
  • Apply game theory to analyse strategic behaviour in a variety of settings including auction design, Web advertising, network routing, and social marketing;
  • Understand strategic behaviour in matching markets that link buyers and sellers;
  • Explore the relationships between markets, information, and consumer expectations;
  • Analyse the processes by which ideas, beliefs, opinions, products, technologies, and social conventions spread through social networks.

About the instructors

David Easley is the Henry Scarborough Professor of Social Science and a professor in the departments of Economics and Information Science at Cornell University. His research focuses on learning and wealth dynamics, market microstructure, and networks. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society.  Easley earned his PhD from Northwestern University. He and Kleinberg recently co-authored Networks, Crowds and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World. The book is based on the popular undergraduate course, Networks, which they developed at Cornell. It combines different scientific perspectives in its approach to understanding networks and behaviour in networked environments.

Jon Kleinberg is the Tisch University Professor of Computer Science and Information Science at Cornell, where he is currently chair of the Department of Information Science. His research focuses on issues at the interface of networks and information, with an emphasis on the social and information networks that underpin the World Wide Web and other online media. He is a MacArthur Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Science.

Eva Tardos is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Computer Science and Information Science at Cornell. Her research focuses on issues at the interface of computing and economics, with an emphasis on algorithms and games on networks. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences. Tardos is the recipient of Packard, Sloan Foundation, and Guggenheim fellowships.

Duration: 10 weeks, 4-5 hours per week

Language: English

Instructors: David Easley, John Kleinberg, Eva Tardos

Institution: Cornell University