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Big Data and Social Science

October 28, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm


Big Data and Social Science

By the end of the course participants will:
-Have a good understanding of commonalities and differences between the techniques used in the social sciences and those used in computer science
-Have seen examples of what can be done with techniques from other disciplines
-Know about research that integrates survey data with other data sources
-Have a solid basis for self-study with the Foster et al. textbook “Big Data and Social Science”
Social scientists and survey researchers are increasingly faced with integrating data from multiple data sources, and expanding their activities beyond experiments and surveys. This course will discuss these developments, and provide practical guidance on combining methods and tools from computer science, statistics, and social science. In particular techniques such as data based management and machine learning applications will be discussed, but also the linkage of various records, or privacy issues and questions around informed consent. The course presents the key big data tools in a non-intimidating way to social and data scientists while not neglecting research questions and purposes. The course aims to illustrate social science and data science principles through real-world applications, and links computer science concepts to real social science as well as survey research. Portions of the course are based on parts of a recent textbook with the same title. Data and code to practice will be available on GitHub.
The course covers:
-Background to Research Questions and Inference in the Social Sciences
-Data Capture and Curation
-Modelling and Analysis
-Information Visualization
-Privacy and Ethics


Instructor: Frauke Kreuter

Frauke Kreuter is Professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland, Professor of Methods and Statistics at the University of Mannheim, and head of the statistical methods group at the German Institute for Employment Research in Nuremberg. Previously, she held positions in the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Department of Statistics at the Ludwig-Maximillian’s University of Munich. Frauke serves on several advisory boards for National Statistical Institutes around the world, and within the Federal Statistical System in the United States. Frauke is also a Gertrude Cox Award winner, which recognizes statisticians in early- to mid-career who have made significant breakthroughs in statistical practice, winner of the inaugural Links Lecture Award and elected fellow of the American Statistical Association. Additionally, she is co-founder of the Coleridge Initiative, and founder of the International Program in Survey and Data Science.

This course will count as 7.0 CSS short course credit hours.

Register here.

Please Note: The registration page works best if you use the Mozilla Firefox browser. Registrations will also not be accepted on or after 10/25/2019. No Exceptions!

Registration fees

  • CSS Students: $40
  • UNC-CH Students: $65
  • Others: $90

Cancellation/Refund Policy: A full refund will be given to those who cancel their registration no later than 10 days prior to the course. If you cancel within the 10 days prior to the class, no refund will be given. Please allow 30 days to receive your refund.

Waitlist/Walk-ins: There may be a waitlist for the courses. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Each attendee must register and pay prior to 3 days before the start of the course.


October 28, 2019
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
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