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2023 Winter School: Introduction to Plotting Social Networks with R

December 7, 2023 10:00 AM - December 8, 2023 1:00 PM (EST)


Note: Workshop is 6 hours and will be conducted over 2 days (7th & 8th December 2023; 10AM to 1PM ET) with each session of 3 hours per day on specific topics.

About the Workshop: 

Scope: This workshop will introduce using R and the package iGraph to make social network visualizations. Participants with little to no R experience should be able to keep up. Beyond the visualization construction, we will explain some of the uses and concepts of social network analysis, how to make custom plots, and how to modify the code from class for their own use later.


  • Skills: none, but some programming would be helpful
  •  Laptop: Windows or Apple/Mac
  •  Software: R/RStudio (free to install


  • Participants will understand the data structures used in social network analysis and be able to build their own simple example networks.
  • Participants will be able to open and plot social network data to make social network graphs.
  • Participants will be able to use functions in the iGraph R package to identify influential and important actors using simple network measures.
  • Participants will be able to customize visual aspects of the plot to highlight features of the network itself and actors within the network.
  • Participants will be able to interpret social network visualizations.


Dr. Jeff Hemsley is an Associate Professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University and an Associate Editor at the Journal of Information Technology and Politics. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington’s Information School. His research is about understanding information diffusion, particularly in the context of politics or social movements, in social media. He is co-author of the book Going Viral (Polity Press, 2013 and winner of ASIS&T Best Science Books of 2014 Information award and selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2014), which explains what virality is, how it works technologically and socially, and draws out the implications of this process for social change.

Christy is a PhD Student at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Her research examines crisis events and their communication in contemporary social media platforms using mixed-methods approaches. Specifically, she examines the collective information behaviors and use of TikTok for crisis events in Lebanon. Before starting her Ph.D., Christy worked in risk and management consulting.

Contact Information

Name: Kimberly Granados
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