I HAVE BEEN TEACHING social networking at third level since 2007 and I'm still trying to work out the maths. After chatting with fellow lecturer, Pamela O'Brien, I'm convinced maths are part of a well-rounded study of what we do online.
I'm not trying to comb applied mathematics textbooks to find equations that I can snap into place. No--I believe it is better to fit a mathematical model to the real world than to find a mathematical equation I understand and then attempting to shoehorn data into that equation. John Maynard Smith, the esteemed biologist who applied game theory to the study of evolution, once scathingly described such models as "theories looking for a question to answer."
But I do have a little maths envy when I see clever formulas used behind the scenes with Universal Analytics. Some of those formulas are very predictive and they help identify leading indicators for important metrics such as footfall. I rambled on about this kind of thought process in an Audioboo audio clip I've attached.