Today’s colleges and universities consist of highly complex structures that dictate interactions between the administration, faculty, and student body. These structures can play a role in dictating the efficiency of policy enacted by the administration and determine the effect that curriculum changes in one department have on other departments. Despite the fact that the features of these complex structures have a strong impact on the institutions, they remain by-and-large unknown in many cases. In this paper we study the academic structure of our home institution of Trinity College in Hartford, CT using the major and minor patterns between graduating students to build a temporal multiplex network describing the interactions between different departments. Using recent network science techniques developed for such temporal networks we identify the evolving community structures that organize departments’ interactions, as well as quantify the interdisciplinary centrality of each department. We implement this framework for Trinity College, finding practical insights and applications, but also present it as a general framework for colleges and universities to better understand their own structural makeup in order to better inform academic and administrative policy.
Applied Network Science
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