Saint Petersburg summer school on social network analysis - 2017
3rd-year student of BA "Sociology"
I am very glad that I attended the St. Petersburg Summer School on Network Analysis - 2017. We had great professors: Ju-Sung (Jay) Lee from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Adina Nerghes from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and Johan Koskinen from University of Manchester. They taught us different ways of parsing, processing data and visualizing various networks for six days. Our speakers told the basics of social analysis, introduced the software "ORA" for building graphs and the data processing program "Automap". For the last three days, the students, together with Johan Koskinen, using the programming language "R" and the program "MPNet", scrutinized ERGMs simulations and evaluated the coefficients of various attributes that make up the graph structure. On the last day of the summer school we all went on a sociological walk, where we learned from the guide Anisya Khokhlova, how the courtyards and streets of Vasilievsky Island are arranged, how new buildings are constructed in the old part of St. Petersburg. Besides, I’d like to note that it was interesting to communicate and share experiences with school participants. Some of them were urbanists, someone was interested in political processes, someone was studying the interaction of artists of the 19th century, some, like me, were sociologists. Each participant specializing in his/her field has visited school to apply the knowledge of network analysis to his research, get advice and give his/her comment on the work of other participants. As for me, I also plan to use the received skills in the context of my research and I hope that I will succeed.
This summer school on network analysis was full of a large amount of useful information, interesting practice, as well as communication with its participants and lecturers. Being a student at the school, I got experience working with various text processing programs, downloading Internet data, building semantic and social networks, and also expanding my knowledge and skills in the programming language R. One of the most interesting discoveries for me was the use of the MPNet program for the construction of statistical models ERGM, one of the founders of which was the teacher of the school, Johan Koskinen. Every day, all participants had the opportunity to work independently with all the software provided, analyzing the data, which contributed to the emergence of new research questions and ideas. The knowledge obtained was very useful for me, so I hope that I will be able to apply them in my future research.