Teaching2018-06-26T07:46:02+00:00

Teaching

Over the last decade, I have taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. I have led workshops, conducted training sessions, and have generally tried to explain many things to lots of people. Over time, I have gotten better at it or – equally plausible – everyone else has gotten smarter.
Working with students, my goal in any class is to promote critical thinking, participation, and collaborative problem solving. The courses I lead will ask you to thoughtfully examine and question the material rather than mechanically reproduce textbook knowledge. I am committed to presenting diverse viewpoints, both academic and social. That can help encourage exploration, tolerance, and curiosity, as well as promote engaged citizenship.

Current Courses at Rutgers

If you are a student at the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University, you might consider taking one of my courses listed below. As of 2018, the most recent student evaluations for all four courses rate instructor teaching effectiveness at 4.5 or higher out of 5.
The name of each class below links to a recent syllabus for it – and you are welcome to e-mail me any questions you might have about it. All students (especially graduate students) should plan on coming by during office hours to chat at least once during the semester.

Computational Communication Research Group

Most semesters at Rutgers, I lead regular meetings (once a week or every other week) of the Computational Communication Research Group. That is my way to provide informal mentoring and hands-on training to graduate students interested in computational and network methods. Group members regularly take the lead on exploring and presenting cutting-edge methods for data collection, analysis, and visualization. If you are interested in joining, do e-mail me.
The group is open to students from other schools and departments, as well as to interested faculty members. If you are looking for a low-engagement option, you can join as a virtual member and be on our mailing list.

Method Workshops

Every year, I lead a number of methodological workshops on R, data analysis, network analysis, and visualization. I teach some at Rutgers and others at conferences like Polnet, Sunbelt, NASN, NetSci, etc. I also give invited workshops and talks at other universities and occasionally do training for agencies or corporate teams. This is the section of my website where you might be able to find information about upcoming workshops near you (provided that I have remembered to post it!). Many materials from recent workshops are available here and on GitHub.

If you would like to invite me to give a talk or a workshop at your institution, feel free to reach out at workshop@ognyanova.net.

Student Recommendation Letters

This section is meant for students who want me to write a recommendation letter for a job or a graduate program. In order to be a good advocate for you, I need to know you well enough to provide a strong, detailed, persuasive recommendation. If you were a student in a large undergraduate course who stayed quiet in class and did not come to office hours, chances are I did not get to know you that well. On the other hand, if we have met and spoken about your interests and your work, I might be able to help.

Along with your request for a recommendation, make sure you provide the following:

  • The deadline by which the letter will be needed and how/where it needs to be submitted
  • The name of the job or academic program you are applying to and the institution that offers it
  • A recent resume or CV, so I can refresh my memory about your accomplishments and skills
  • Candidate requirements: explain to me what I need to focus on. Would letter readers want to know about your writing skills, analytical skills, social media skills, your work in particular research areas, etc.
  • A bullet point list of the key facts about you that you consider to be most important to highlight in a recommendation for the position or program you are applying to.