Welcome to CSS 2ΒΆ

This course explores the use of computational methods across the social sciences. Topics include thinking like a computational social scientist; research design for big data; legal and ethical dimensions of Computational Social Science (CSS). Students will implement demonstrations of these methods in Python.

Computational Social Science is the use of computation to study social phenomena. This enterprise has two facets:

  1. generating and analyzing large datasets of human behavior, and

  2. simulating or optimizing models to understand their implications and predictions in complex situations.

Although specific datasets, analysis methods, and models vary across domains of interest (including linguistics, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, cognitive science, etc.), there is considerable overlap in core skills and ideas. At the core of these skills is data analysis using computer programs: giving computers explicit instructions about how to carry out specific analyses. This class aims to develop these core skills using Python in the context of social science applications.