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

June 17th, 2019 - June 28th, 2019

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 its second Summer Institute in Computational Social Science partner location from June 17th, 2019 to June 28th, 2019.

SICSS NYC-Hunter is for both social scientists and data scientists interested in broadening their knowledge and usage of computational social science. In particular, this institute targets applied social scientists, practitioners, and scholars who have little to no exposure to computational social science methods and theories. The aim of the SICSS NYC-Hunter institute is to build a cohort of applied social science students, scholars, instructors, and practitioners who can employ computational social science techniques across practice areas and domains.

The program is open to all interested participants, though we will be unable to provide accomodations for those not already living in NYC or the tri-state area. However, we will be able to proivde a modest travel and lodging reimbursement for those who wish to travel from out of town. 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 applied 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 applied social science scholars, computer and data scientists, as well as practitioners 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 will 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 March 1st, 2019. View application here

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Maria Y. Rodriguez

is an Assistant Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work, part of the City University of New York’s Hunter College. She is a faculty affiliate at the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR), and graduate faculty at the CUNY Grad Center. Her research interests intersect demography, computational social science, housing policy and social welfare. Currently, she has two active areas of research: (1) understanding the impacts of algorithmic decision-making in human services (with particular attention to racially marginalized groups), and (2) using Twitter data to understand the lived experience of marginalized communities in the United States. She can be found on Twitter @HousingTheCity.

Local Speakers

Coming Sooon!

Teaching Assistants

Coming Soon!


Coming soon!


As we discussed in our call for applications, we have arranged two types of training prior to the event this summer. Some students have more sophisticated coding skills but little exposure to social science; other students have significant exposure to social science but lack coding skills.


The majority of the coding work presented at the 2019 SICSS will employ R. However, you are welcome to employ a language of your choice, such as Python, Julia, or other languages that are commonly used by computational social scientists. If you would like to work in R, we recommend that you complete the following courses within DataCamp, a website with courses on many topics related to data science. Obviously, you only need to complete the classes with material that you would like to learn.

We thank DataCamp for making these materials available to admitted participants though their DataCamp for the Classroom program.

If you would like a different way to learn similar material, we recommend Introduction to R for Social Scientists taught by Charles Lanfear. This course includes video, code, and assignments.

Reading List

The Summer Institute will bring together people from many fields, and therefore we think that asking you to do some reading before you arrive will help us use our time together more effectively. First, we ask you to read Matt’s book, Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age (Read online or purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or Princeton University Press), which is a broad introduction to computational social science. Parts of this book will be review for most of you, but if we all read this book ahead of time, then we can use our time together for more advanced topics.

Also, for students with little or no exposure to sociology, economics, or political science, we have assembled a collection of exemplary papers in the core areas addressed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Neither your work nor the work we develop together at the institute need map neatly onto these categories, but if those with less exposure to social science read these, we will increase the chances of interdisciplinary cross-pollination, which we view as critical to the future of computational social science.

Future of Work

Behavioral Economics

Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration

Social Inequality

Schedule and materials

Monday June 17, 2019 - To be announced.

  • 2019 schedule coming soon!