Campus News

UK’s LINKS Workshop is ‘Go To’ for Social Network Analysis Experts

Dan Brass leading a session
Dan Brass leads a session at the 2017 LINKS Workshop

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 29, 2018)The University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and EconomicsLINKS Center for Social Network Analysis will host its 11th annual workshop on the campus in Lexington from June 4-8. The weeklong event regularly draws more than 150 participants representing more than 100 academic institutions, private organizations and governmental agencies, proving that UK is ‘the place to go’ for social network analysis expertise. A dozen countries spanning five continents are expected to be represented at the workshop, which also features a team of 30 faculty and teaching assistants, including nearly a dozen from other academic institutions.

“Public and private entities of all types leverage social network analysis research results to achieve practical and positive outcomes in specific areas such as optimizing organizational structures, diagnosing or responding to organizational issues, and as a tool to achieve organizational goals,” said Dan Brass, the J. Henning Hilliard Professor of Innovation Management in the Gatton College and director of the LINKS Center.

Brass, who also serves as chair of Gatton’s Department of Management, added, “We all benefit from everyone sharing their research ideas and challenges. A number of collaborations have resulted from the workshop.”

One of the brand new offerings this year is a session on "Networks and Communication," which will be led by Scott Poole, the David L. Swanson Professor of Communication, Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and director of I-CHASS: The Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the University of Illinois; and Andy Pilny, assistant professor of communication in UK’s College of Communication and Information, whose research interests include dynamics models of network formation.

Steve Borgatti, Paul Chellgren Endowed Chair of Management in Gatton, organizes and directs the workshop each year. Borgatti is proud of the fact that the gathering provides something for just about everyone, newcomers and veteran practitioners alike.

“Each year we offer a number of unique tracks, including several that require no prior experience in network analysis,” he said. “While roughly half of our participants are management scholars, the rest are drawn from a very diverse set of academic disciplines: education, public health, social work, economics, medicine, political science, international affairs, psychology, public policy and library science.”

Scott Soltis, assistant professor of management in Gatton and associate director of the LINKS workshop, says he finds the workshop rewarding.

“I do one-on-one sessions and getting to see my advice directly impact a research design or helping someone to turn their data into a visualization for the first time is energizing,” Soltis said.

The LINKS workshop is being held in the Gatton College of Business and Economics building and the venue is proving to be very popular.

“It’s a great chance for us to show off our wonderful facilities, beautiful campus and the city of Lexington,” Borgatti said.

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