This book is one that I’ve wanted to have available quite a few times while teaching (parts of) this material in various courses and workshops over the past decade. So I’m grateful for Barbara Entwisle and Helen Salmon providing me the opportunity and guidance to write one for this series, and for overseeing a review process that undoubtedly improved the resulting book. Hopefully others will find it at least a fraction as useful as I’ve found the process of writing it.

Any project, no matter how long, benefits from feedback of a variety of sorts, and this book is no different. I’ve had several close collaborators on various network projects over the years that clearly shape the vast majority of the material here. Many of the ways I approach these ideas date back to Jim Moody’s influence as my PhD advisor and providing my introduction to social networks research. In the years since starting my first faculty position, Ryan Light and David Schaefer have been regular interlocutors on basically all things networks. It’s hard to tell where much of my own perspective begins and theirs end when it comes to social networks. Except when it comes to those occasions of misunderstanding or misrepresenting ideas from the field; I do that all on my own.

The majority of the material presented here has been discussed in teaching opportunities I’ve had in a variety of settings; these include SNA courses at American University, Columbia University’s Epidemiology and Population Health Summer Institute, University of Colorado Denver, and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research’s Summer Program. I’d especially like to acknowledge the students in a seminar on network data in health research at Arizona State University, which allowed me to take a much deeper dive into some of these topics than would otherwise have been possible. I’d also like to acknowledge the research assistance on elements of this book from Venice Ng Williams and Tatiane Santos, with whom I co-authored a chapter (adams, Santos, and Williams 2019), which provides the backbone for parts of this book.

Finally, I’d like to thank a number of colleagues who agreed to provide feedback on drafts of various sections of this book. That feedback has substantially clarified the material included here: Jason Boardman, Michał Bojanowski, Jill Harrison, Ryan Light, Chris Marcum, Ryan Masters, Ann McCranie, Sanyu Mojola, Stefanie Mollborn, David Schaefer, Jenny Trinitapoli, and Sara Yeatman. I hope you know I’m happy to reciprocate any time.