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Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (Paperback)
The pioneering young scientist whose work on the structure of small worlds has triggered an avalanche of interest in networks.
In this remarkable book, Duncan Watts, one of the principal architects of network theory, sets out to explain the innovative research that he and other scientists are spearheading to create a blueprint of our connected planet. Whether they bind computers, economies, or terrorist organizations, networks are everywhere in the real world, yet only recently have scientists attempted to explain their mysterious workings.
From epidemics of disease to outbreaks of market madness, from people searching for information to firms surviving crisis and change, from the structure of personal relationships to the technological and social choices of entire societies, Watts weaves together a network of discoveries across an array of disciplines to tell the story of an explosive new field of knowledge, the people who are building it, and his own peculiar path in forging this new science.
About the Author
Duncan J. Watts is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and a founding member of the MSR-NYC lab. He is also an AD White Professor at Large at Cornell University. His research on social networks and collective dynamics has appeared in a wide range of journals including Nature, Science, the American Journal of Sociology, and the Harvard Business Review.
Accessible and engaging…A good introduction to the topic. — Nature
Duncan Watts is so clear and so readable about one of the world's most mystifying subjects that he will probably leave you with your thinking changed forever. — Alan Alda
Here is a wonderful science book you won't want to put down...relevant to an amazing variety of subjects, including epidemics, markets, scientific collaboration, and terrorism. — Murray Gell-Mann, Nobel Laureate in physics, cofounder of the Santa Fe Institute
Written in as accessible and jaunty a fashion as James Watson's Double Helix, Six Degrees provides a deft, informative, and deeply engaging story of how the multidisciplinary science of networks has come into being.
— Robert K. Merton, University Professor Emeritus, Columbia University
This is a story that is both personal and remarkable for its ability to convey the wonder of complex science. — Bill Miller, CEO, Legg Mason Funds
Watts's insights into the interconnections that bind us together...offer a vital new framework for understanding our global society. — Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University
Watts smoothly combines a historical survey of the field with real-world examples. Well-done [and] comprehensive. — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)