As a developmental math instructor I am interested in how well I prepare my students for their next math classes. This summer I traced the math class history of every student I have taught here at SOU. I thought to use a graph visualization tool for the analysis and downloaded gephi. My nodes represented classes and the edges indicated students going from one class to the next. It turned out that gephi doesn’t handle multiple edges well and/or my graph model wasn’t the right one so I eventually turned to EXCEL pivot tables and bar graphs.
In the course of messing around with gephi I did get this cool graphic.
Each node represents a math class. Colors represent the same course, Math 111, Math 112 etc. The radii are ordered by term proceeding clockwise with the first term I taught being the four class arm near one o’clock. At the end of each radial arm are the classes which I taught. The edges represent students going from one class to another. The center node is the terminal node indicating that the student did not take any more math classes. The thickness of the edge represents the number of students.
I now have a visual representation of my “math influence.” I think I will pin the image on my bulletin board as a reminder of the seriousness of my task.