Graphs and Networks – Theory and Applications

  1. Using Data Science /
  2. Special Interest Groups /
  3. Graphs and Networks – Theory and Applications

Group Chair: Alice Schwarze

Team: Alice Schwarze (organizer, postdoc at UW Biology), Leo Stewart (PhD student at UW Information School), Emily Porter (PhD student at UW Information School), Jordan Snyder (postdoc at UW Mathematics).

Thinking about data and complex systems as networks and using tools of network analysis has been a successful approach in various research problems. Many fields that have benefited from network approaches – e.g., systems biology, neuroscience, biomedicine, engineering sciences, and social sciences – have very active research communities at UW. However, these communities have little or no interactions with each other and we believe that increasing the exchange of ideas between these communities can greatly benefit their respective research and lead to new interdisciplinary research projects. The main goal of our SIG is to facilitate the exchange between research communities that have (or may develop) an interest in the study of networks and to create spaces at UW that are welcoming to all current and future network scientists.

To this end, our team has been organizing several weekly events since Fall term 2019. We currently host a weekly journal club on network science and a seminar on Women in Network Science. The journal club and the seminar have retained stable attendance despite the challenges that the campus closure has posed over the last few months. In its online format, the seminar was able to feature speakers from four different countries in Spring term and has attracted an international audience.

In addition to our current activities, our annual goals for the SIG include the organization of a 2-day event in Summer 2021. This event includes a 1-day school for interested students and staff and a 1-day workshop to bring together researchers from UW and other research institutions in Washington with an interest in theory or applications of graphs and networks. The invitation to the workshop will be extended to researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Lab with the aim to promote collaboration between across institutions. We hope that we will be able to convene the workshop in-person but will adjust to a condensed online format if necessary. To connect with researchers before and after the workshop, we aim to set up an email list for network science at UW through which we plan to send a monthly bulletin about activities and opportunities that are related to network science and new publications by UW researchers on theory and applications of graphs and networks.

Our current and future activities will benefit greatly from our group being recognized as a SIG. For the in-person workshop, we would like to organize catering through eScience and use rooms at eScience’s offices. We would like to build a webpage for our group and its activities and would like this page to be embedded in the eScience website. We anticipate that the embedded webpage could help UW researchers from departments to which we do not currently have connections to find out about our activities and our email list. We also hope
to gauge interest in our activities from being mentioned as a new SIG in the eScience bulletin.

Our activities aim to create opportunities and spaces for researchers at UW and their colleagues to meet, learn, and discuss the connections between their research and network science. We anticipate that these exchanges can be beneficial for ongoing research at several UW departments and foster interdisciplinary collaborations across the campus and beyond. Our goals align strongly with eScience’s mission. Our activities will be more successful in achieving these goals if we are able to increase publicity, participation, and to host an in-person workshop. We anticipate that being recognized as a SIG through eScience will be helpful for achieving our group’s goals.