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Winter School of Network Theory and Applications

At the very beginning of this year, from 5th to 8th January, I had attended the Winter School of Network Theory and Applications at the University of Warwick, UK. It was organized by complexity research centres from universities of Oxford and Warwick and in contrast to other workshops on networks, this school was less focused on social networks in particular, and was more concerned with networks in general, their statistics, modelling and dynamics.

The majority of the programme consisted of blocks of typically two 1.5h lectures on broader topics like ‘network statistics’ or ‘dynamics of neural networks’. Besides these major blocks, there were couple of 45min short talks on concrete topics like community detection or biologically inspired network dynamics. There were also three tutorial sessions, were attenders worked in small teams on some elementary network analysis tasks in Matlab, like generation of Erdos-Renyi graphs, investigation of its criticality, generation of small-world network and inspection of its diameter, etc.

As network science is not completely new for me, certain lectures were rather repetition. However, it was indeed useful to have all this previous knowledge to be framed in the unified perspective, which can be offered only by experts in the field. As I understood, the school should be organized again next year, so I would recommend it to anybody interested in incorporation of network science/analysis into his/her own research toolkit — especially at the beginning of the research.