Education and Training

The IGERT program will be constructed around the core components of a Network Science Laboratory (NSL), as well as new courses, weekly seminars, summer internships, summer boot camp, and an innovation program. In the NSL, trainees will obtain hands-on experience with software, empirical datasets, and interdisciplinary science through a set of newly designed training modules. The team-based modules will span the first year of the program and solve problems of empirical networks using an interdisciplinary mix of hypotheses and strategies. A sequence of newly introduced courses will train students in the basic concepts from the emphasis areas. Weekly seminars, summer internships, and a workshop will provide the trainees with the necessary professional skills. Finally, an innovation program will stimulate problem-solving and creative thinking.

The centerpiece of our education and training plan is a hands-on Network Science Laboratory (NSL) in which trainees will be exposed to large datasets, software for analyzing and visualizing networks, and fundamental principles of Network Science through a set of training modules.

Modules are like lab rotations.  They give trainees a chance to conduct research on network science from a different viewpoint, and in a potentially different discipline. 

We have introduced a two-course sequence on Network Science. The first course, Network Science 201 (NS 201), focuses on fundamental theory and algorithms for working with Big Data and networks.The second course, Network Science 202 (NS 202), explores Network Science concepts in the context of social and biological networks. A number of existing courses from the participating departments can be used to build a breadth component

A two-week boot camp for new trainees right before the beginning of the academic year introduces and refreshes skills around programming, software, and data.

In order to train IGERT students in interdisciplinary skills and become original thinkers, we have established a program in innovation and entrepreneurship. The interdisciplinary nature of our IGERT program by its very nature requires our trainees to innovate outside their core expertise areas. Our coursework and training modules emphasize solving real world problems through new ideas and critical thinking.

To complement the professional skills students will acquire through their coursework, the NSL, the Innovation Program, and other aspects of the IGERT program, we have an annual workshop focused on the professional development skills.

The IGERT program is truly interdisciplinary and trainees progress through the IGERT requirements within any of the 7 home departments. Here are a few sample study plans for IGERT trainees during the first two years of their PhD study. These examples are for illustrative purposes only and an IGERT trainee will consult with the faculty to design an appropriate plan suitable to her/his background.