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William D. Richards

William D. Richards, 1948-2007

September 11, 2007

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Professor Bill Richards of the School of Communication died of injuries sustained in an accident at his home on August 23.                   

Richards received his undergraduate degree in communication in 1971 from Michigan State University, and his M.A. (1973) and PhD. (1976) from Stanford University. His impact on the field of network analysis in communication studies was substantial and enduring, and recognized internationally.

Richards’ work was concerned with the development and implementation of computer programs for the analysis of communication/information networks, and the software he developed (NEGOPY) continues to be the accepted international standard tool for network research and analysis.

Indeed, NEGOPY made possible the study of large and complex communication networks. “Bill’s impact on the field of communication cannot be overstated,” says professor George Barnett of the Department of Communication at the University of Buffalo and a prominent researcher in social network analysis in communication.

Richards was also co-editor and publisher of Connections, the journal of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA). The success and growing influence of INSNA, a global research organization with more than 1000 members across six continents, owes much to his considerable focus and dedication. Richards also served as INSNA president and was the organizer and convener of the International Sunbelt Social Network Conference in Vancouver, in 2006.

The School of Communication will hold an event at the Diamond Alumni Centre on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 3-6 p.m. to honour Bill Richards and to celebrate his life and work.
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