Bacon and the St. Lawrence Senior Class: Six Degrees of Separation?
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Patti Frazer Lock
My research focuses on social networks and the underlying
graph structure. I look at the empirical work done in the area of
clustering coefficients, path lengths, and centrality in the networks.
One of the well-popularized studies in the area of social networks is the
Kevin Bacon Problem. If we say that two actors are linked if they
have appeared in a movie together, then every actor is connected to Kevin
Bacon through a chain of at most six links. This is known as a small
world phenomenon and popularized as "six degrees of separation".
I am investigating the degree of separation of the St. Lawrence senior
class. After conducting a survey and collecting data on the structure
of the senior class social network, I will be able to identify the connectivity
and path lengths of the graph representing the social network of the senior
class. This talk will discuss the theoretical techniques for analysis
of social networks as well as the results of the data analysis and the
practical meaning of the degrees of separation of the St. Lawrence University
Class of 2002.