About This Course
The “data revolution” has transformed the way we understand and interact with the world around us. The availability of large datasets, progress in computer hardware and software, and use of the web to share data and acquire it from numerous sources (including social network services, libraries, museums, city governments, non-profits, etc.) has created many new possibilities in many fields including computer science, social science, humanities, business, economics, and medicine. These developments have also led to the emergence of a number of new research fields in the end of 2000s: social computing, computational social science, digital humanities, cultural analytics, and culturomics. This course introduces students to fundamental concepts and practical techniques and skills needed to work with data.
We’ll begin with a broader examination of data and society. Then, we’ll take a look at some of the tools used by data analysts and data scientists to produce knowledge in various settings. We’ll focus mainly on analysis of text in our coding work; this is the best place to begin to understand the choices we make as researchers and analysts in applied settings.