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Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College at the City University of New York
Summer Institute in Computational Social Science Partner Site

June 18, 2018 - June 29th, 2018

Sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation & The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The Silberman School of Social Work, part of the City University of New York’s Hunter College, will host a Summer Institute in Computational Social Science partner location from June 18th, 2018 to June 29th, 2018.

Whereas SICSS is for both social scientists and data scientists, broadly conceived, SICSS NYC-Hunter is a specialized institute targeting social work students, practitioners, and scholars who have little to no exposure to computational social science methods. The aim of the SICSS NYC-Hunter institute is to build a cohort of social work students, scholars, instructors, and practitioners who can employ computational social science techniques across practice areas and domains.

The program is intended for graduate students and faculty engaged in social scientific research at the Silberman School of Social Work. SICSS NYC-Hunter is sponsored by the Sloan Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation. It will be hosted at the Silberman School of Social Work, located at E. 119th street and 3rd Ave.

Participants in SICSS NYC-Hunter will gain hands-on experience in working with computational methods including learning programming in R and Python, using version control tools like Github, and applying these tools to social science research problems. The curriculum will consist of a combination of livestreamed lectures and tutorials, group activities and exercises. We will cover a broad range of computational research topics from text analysis to digital data collection.

A primary goal of SICSS NYC-Hunter is to bring together social work scholars from various areas of practice and reserach to share their strengths and enhance each other’s work. Participants will be encouraged to workshop exisiting work, as well as develop new colaborations. There may also be pilot funding avalable.

There is no cost to participate, and meals during the day will be provided. We will make every effort to support attendance with metro cards and child care arrangements, should there be need.

To apply, please submit a short application by Friday, June 1st, 2018. View application here

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Maria Y. Rodriguez

Dr. Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work, part of the City University of New York’s Hunter College. Her research interests intersect demography, data science, housing policy and social welfare. Currently, she has three active areas of research: (1) identifying the impacts of the U.S. foreclosure crisis on foreign-born Latinos by examining foreclosure mitigation policy; (2) understanding the impacts of algorithmic decision-making in human services (with particular attention to racially marginalized groups), and (3) using Twitter data to understand the lived experience of marginalized communities in the United States. She can be found on Twitter @HousingTheCity.

Teaching Assistants

Image of Khudodod Khudododov

Khudodod Khudododov

Khudodod Khudododov is currently a PhD student in Social Welfare program at Graduate Center, CUNY. He completed his MSW from Washington University in St. Louis. He has worked with various local and international organizations in the capacity of evaluation specialist. His main interest is in the application of contemporary statistical and machine learning models to ever-growing social science data to make better and stronger evidence based decisions. Additionally Khudodod is an instructor at Silberman School of Social Work teaching research and statistics.


Image of Glenera Bates

Glenera Bates

Gleneara E. Bates is currently doctoral student at CUNY Graduate Center. I’m interested in exploring the environmental risk factors for chronic diseases among racially ethnic minorities living in New York.

Katharine Bloeser

Katharine Bloeser is an Assistant Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Katharine is a licensed independent clinical social worker in the District of Columbia. Katharine’s work focuses on underrepresented populations of veterans including those who identify as sexual and gender minorities. Her work examines the intersection of the veteran identity with age, race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Image of Jagadisa-Devasri Dacus

Jagadisa-Devasri Dacus

Dr. Dacus possess an extensive history of working for and with community based organizations, nonprofits, and state and local health departments engaged in the provision of programs and interventions for at-risk racial and ethnic populations, youth and young adults, drug users, and LGBTQ populations. His public health research takes a strengths-based examination of maintained HIV-negativity among Black men who have sex with men (MSM). In addition to his behavioral science research, he currently provides consulting services in the areas of organizational development, capacity building, program development and evaluation, and cultural competency with an emphasis on LGBTQ populations.

Nathalie Lebron

Coming soon!

Carmen Morano

Dr. Carmen Morano is a Professor of Social Work and Chair of the Aging Field of Practice. Carmen is a John A. Hartford Faculty Scholar (2003-2005) and Founding Director of Silberman Aging: A Hartford Center of Excellence in Diverse Aging His research includes developing and evaluating psychoeducational interventions for caregivers of persons with dementia, program evaluations for community-based agencies and developing competency-based curriculum. His more resent research is focused on evaluating interprofessional education and practice and the use of social network analysis to evaluate a caregiver support program.

Gilbert Nick

Coming soon!

Image of Austin Oswald

Austin Oswald

Austin Oswald is a PhD Social Welfare student at the City University of New York. He earned his BSc in Therapeutic Recreation at Dalhousie University, MA in Applied Health Sciences at Brock University, and Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies at the University of Georgia. Austin is involved in research that explores the distinct needs of LGBTQ people, and he has disseminated his work though publications, presentations, and community lectures. Currently, Austin is working with Dr. Nancy Giunta on her national program evaluation of LGBTQ cultural competence trainings for aging service providers.

Image of Maurice Vann

Maurice Vann

Maurice T. Vann is a doctoral candidate, researcher, and lecturer who develops, implements, and evaluates programs that assist returning citizens with reintegrating into their communities. He is a justice system advocate who has worked in advocacy organizations, courts, corrections facilities, and jails throughout the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan region. Currently, he is investigating the role returning citizens played in quelling community unrest in Baltimore during the Freddie Gray Uprising of 2015.

Schedule and materials

Monday June 18, 2018 - Introduction and Ethics

  • 9:00-9:15 Introductions

  • 9:15-9:30 Logistics

  • 9:30-9:45 Introduction to computational social science

  • 9:45-10:00 Why SICSS?

  • 10:00-10:45 Ethics: Principles-based approach (Livestream)

  • 10:45-11:00 Break

  • 11:00-12:00 Four areas of difficulty: informed consent, informational risk, privacy, and making decisions in the face of uncertainty (Livestream)

  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch

  • 1:00-3:30 Introduction to R & Version Control (Hand-On excercises)

  • 3:30-4:00 Wrap Up Discussion

Tuesday June 19, 2018 - Collecting Digital Trace Data

  • 9:00-9:15 What is digital trace data? (Livestream)

  • 9:15-9:30 Strengths and weakness of digital trace data (Livestream)

  • 9:30-10:00 Screen-Scraping (Livestream)

  • 10:00-10:15 Break

  • 10:15-11:00 Application Programming Interfaces (Livestream)

  • 11:00-12:00 Apps for Social Science Research (Livestream)

  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch

  • 1:00-3:30 Intermediate R (Hand-On excercises)

  • 3:30-4:00 Wrap Up Discussion

Wednesday June 20, 2018 - Automated text analysis

  • 9:00-9:15 History of quantitative text analysis (Livestream)

  • 9:15-9:30 Strengths and weakenesses of quantitative text analysis (Livestream)

  • 9:30-9:45 Basic Text Analysis/GREP (Livestream)

  • 9:45-10:00 Dictionary-Based Text Analysis (Livestream)

  • 10:00-10:15 Break

  • 10:15-11:00 Topic models and Beyond (Livestream)

  • 11:00-12:00 Ngram Networks (Livestream)

  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch

  • 1:00-3:30 Intermediate R Part II (Hand-On excercises)

  • 3:30-4:00 Wrap Up Discussion

Thursday June 21, 2018 - Surveys

  • 9:00-9:15 Welcome and schedule

  • 9:15-9:30 Survey research in the digital age (Livestream)

  • 9:30-10:00 Probability and non-probability sampling (Livestream)

  • 10:00-10:15 Break

  • 10:45-11:00 Combining surveys and big data (Livestream)

  • 11:00-12:00 Intermediate R Part III (Hand-On excercises)

  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch

  • 1:30-3:30 Continue with Intermediate R Part III

  • 3:30-4:00 Wrap Up Discussion

Friday June 22, 2018 - Mass Collaboration

  • 9:00-9:10 Welcome and schedule

  • 9:10-9:30 Mass collaboration (Livestream)

  • 9:30-9:40 Human computation (Livestream)

  • 9:40-9:50 Open call (Livestream)

  • 9:50-10:00 Distributed data collection (Livestream)

  • 10:00-10:15 Design advice (Livestream)

  • 10:15-10:30 Break

  • 10:30-11:30 Introduction to Fragile Families Challenge (Livestream)

  • 11:30-12:30 Working on Fragile Families Challenge

  • 12:30-1:00 Lunch

  • 1:00-3:00 Fragile Families Challenge

  • 3:00-3:30 Project Brainstorm

  • 3:30-4:00 Wrap Up Discussion

Saturday June 23, 2018 - Enjoy the Weekend!

Sunday June 24, 2018 - Enjoy the Weekend!

Monday June 25, 2018 - Experiments

  • 9:00 - 9:15 Welcome and schedule

  • 9:15 - 9:45 What, why, and which experiments?

  • 9:45 - 10:15 Moving beyond simple experiments

  • 10:15 - 10:30 Break

  • 10:30 - 11:15 Four strategies for experiments

  • 11:15 - 11:45 Zero variable cost data and musiclab

  • 11:45 - 12:15 3 Rs

  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch

  • 1:00-3:30 Work on Group/Individual Projects (On-Site)

  • 3:30-4:00 Wrap Up Discussion & Remaining Schedule

Tuesday June 26, 2018 - Work on projects (On or Off Site)

Wednesday June 27, 2018 - Work on projects (On or Off Site)

Thursday June 28, 2018 - Work on projects (On or Off Site)

Friday June 29, 2018 - Closing Conference

  • 9:00 - 9:15 Welcome and schedule

  • 9:15 - 11:15 Individual/Group Project Presentations

  • 11:15 - 11:30 Break

  • 11:30 - 12:00 Next Steps

  • 12:00 - 1:30 Closing Lunch