Network Science Minor
Network Science is an inherently interdisciplinary academic field which studies complex networks such as telecommunications, computer, biological, cognitive, and social networks. Network representations of these systems lead to predictive models and insights into how networks behave and evolve. The USMA Network Science Center was established in 2007 with the intent to engage more academic institutions, public and private research organizations, and scholars in basic and applied research relevant to US Department of Defense’s doctrine of Network Centric Operations.
Cadets who minor in Network Science (NS) graduate with an enriched understanding of the interrelationships and influences that drive formation and evolution of systems. Examples of such systems include, but are not limited to, social systems like organizations; physical systems like the contemporary communications infrastructure; and natural systems like ecological webs.
NS minors learn to formalize and measure several different aspects of an individual’s importance to a system, as well as to formalize and measure various characteristics of the system itself, such as its size, sensitivity to change, and topology (such as its shape and pattern of connectivity). However, NS minors will learn to do more than simply calculate these measures; the program of study emphasizes the application of NS to real world problems that exist within and between academic disciplines as diverse as sociology, economics, biology, policy, electrical engineering, international relations, organizational theory, and computer science.
The NS minor is inherently interdisciplinary and combines aspects of mathematics with theories drawn from the social and behavioral sciences and tools created by computer scientists. This interdisciplinary focus will prepare cadets to navigate the complex and diverse problems they will face as officers – problems which no single discipline can solve in isolation and which require rigorous analytical problem solving.