Advanced methods course for ALL tracks.
The course is an introduction to state-of-the-art methods to use Big Data in social sciences research. It is a hands-on course requiring students to bring their own research problems and ideas for independent research. The course will review three main topics making Big Data research unique:
1. New and emerging data sources such social media or government administrative data;
2. Innovative data collection techniques such as web scraping; and
3. Data analysis techniques typical of Big Data analysis such as machine learning.
Big Data means that both the speed and frequency of data created are increasing at an accelerating pace virtually covering the full spectrum of social life in ever greater detail. Moreover, much of this data is more and more readily available making real-time data analysis feasible.
During the course students will acquaint themselves with different concepts, methodological approaches, and empirical results revolving around the use of Big Data in social sciences. As this domain of knowledge is rapidly evolving and already vast, the course can only engender basic literacy skills for understanding Big Data and its novel uses. Students will be encouraged to use acquired skills in their own research throughout the course and continue engaging with new methods.