soc 375 - syllabus - fall 2007

soc 375 - syllabus - fall 2007 - University of Wisconsin,...

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University of Wisconsin, Department of Sociology Sociology 375: Introduction to Mathematical Sociology Fall 2007 Prof. James Montgomery jmontgom@ssc.wisc.edu 2436 Social Science Office hours: Friday 9:30-11:30 AM or by appointment Overview . Mathematical sociologists use mathematics to represent and analyze sociological concepts and theories. In this course, we explore mathematical models of social structure , focusing especially on social network analysis and related methods. [A second course in mathematical sociology (tentatively planned for Spring 2008) will focus on mathematical models of social process , addressing the use of Markov chains and dynamical systems in sociology.] Prerequisites. There is no particular mathematics prerequisite. However, past experience suggests that students with weak backgrounds in math often find the course difficult. We will make extensive use of matrix algebra, but the course is intended to be self-contained for students who have not previously studied this topic. Students will also learn and apply some elementary set theory, graph theory, and abstract algebra. Students who have taken Math 240 (Discrete Mathematics) and Math 340 (Matrix Algebra) or equivalents will already know the relevant mathematics, and students with some background in computer programming may have an advantage. There is no sociology prerequisite, so the course is well-suited for students with other (quantitative) majors. Evaluation . Grades will be based on two exams (a midterm and a final), as well as problem sets. The midterm exam will be held in class on Thursday, October 25 . The final will be held during test week on Thursday, December 20, at 10:05 am. Each exam is worth 1/3 of the grade; the problem sets comprise the final 1/3. Exams. The exams will follow the format of old exams (see below). Students should bring calculators to the exams. Graphing calculators (which can multiply matrices) are permitted but not necessary. Old exams. Copies of old exams (with solutions) are posted on my website: www.ssc.wisc.edu/~jmontgom These old exams are an importance resource for learning the course material, and students are strongly encouraged to work through these problems as we go along. (Don’t wait until the night before the exam!) Note that, because the content of the course changes from year to year, some old exam problems will be irrelevant. [The material covered this term will be very similar to the material covered in Spring 2007. For earlier years, some material addressed on the second exam (e.g., Markov chains, demography, network
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soc 375 - syllabus - fall 2007 - University of Wisconsin,...

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