Projects

As part of the requirements of the course, you need to complete a project on a topic of your choice, related to the class material. We encourage you to work in groups of 2-3 people.

Project Topics

There is a lot of flexibility on the choice of the topic, as long as it overlaps with issues and methods covered in this class. We will be happy to discuss candidate topics with you and provide pointers to the literature. A list of possible project topics is available.

Possible project types include but are not limited to:

  • You can read and report on 2-3 papers on a theoretical or application area related to the subject. This involves deep understanding of and critically evaluating the papers. You can include not just a synthesis of the material you read, but also (in part) your own research or thoughts on the subject.

  • You can do an experimental study with real data testing properties of networks that we have studied in class.

  • You can do an experimental study via implementation and simulation of an existing model, with an eye to providing some understanding or insights that are not already in the literature (e.g. by considering model variations).

  • You can identify a phenomenon related to network properties and interactions of its inhabitants, and develop and explore a model (theoretically or by simulations).

  • You can do theoretical analysis of a model that we have not covered in class and that has not been fully explored in the literature.

Do not worry about obtaining original research results. However, try to go beyond just reading and summarizing the results of a published paper by thinking critically of its presentation or its potential extensions, its connection to related papers, etc.

Project Proposal

Please submit a brief project proposal by Ses #17. The proposal should include: potential topic, project group, and a brief description of the work plan. Please feel free to consult with us before this date about the project topic.

Project Report

You are expected to submit a report on your project. Due to MIT regulations, the project is due on the last day of classes, Ses #24 (however, we will not penalize those that submit their reports a few days later, by the beginning of the final exam period).

The project report should be written with at least 12-point font, be single spaced, and in a single column. It should be at most 5 pages in length for a single-person project, at most 8 pages for two people, and at most 10 pages for three people, not including figures. On the one hand, the length restriction is intended to help you focus on delivering a crisp message. On the other hand, you can include an appendix with additional material (e.g., long technical arguments, if you think these are necessary).