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Summer Institute in Computational Social Science Partner Site

June 16 to June 29, 2019 | Kadir Has University

Partner location for SICSS organised at Princeton University

Kadir Has University is hosting the first-ever SICSS in Istanbul! The event will take place through 16-29 June 2019 as an intensive summer school in computational social science. Sessions and lectures will take place in tandem with the flagship event at Princeton University, along with 9 other partner sites around the world!

The purpose of the Summer Institute is to bring together graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and beginning faculty interested in computational social science. The Summer Institute is for both social scientists (broadly conceived) and data scientists (broadly conceived).

The instructional program will involve lectures, group problem sets, and participant-led research projects. There will also be outside speakers who conduct computational social science research in academia, industry, and government. Topics covered include

There will be ample opportunities for students to discuss their ideas and research with the organizers, other participants, and visiting speakers. Because we are committed to open and reproducible research, all materials created by faculty and students for the Summer Institute will be released open source.

See details for applications and apply by February 19th.

The Summer Institute in Computational Social Science is funded in part by grants from the Russell Sage Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The institute at Kadir Has University is also supported by Kadir Has University.


Matti Nelimarkka

Matti Nelimarkka is a researcher at the Department of Computer Science, Aalto University. He examines the intersections of political science and data science as well as political science and human-computer interaction. His current work focuses on racism in hybrid media systems, circulation of news, political polarization, agendas in political communication, power of algorithmic systems and politics in human-computer interaction.

Akın Ünver

Akin Ünver is an assistant professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University, specialising in conflict research, computational methods and digital crisis communication. He is the Resident Fellow of Cyber Research Program at the Centre for Economic and Foreign Policy Research (EDAM), a Research Associate at the Center for Technology and Global Affairs, Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at GUARD (Global Urban Analytics for Resilient Defence) at the Alan Turing Institute.

Teaching Assistants

Yunus Emre Tapan

Emre is a master student at Middle Eastern Technical University in Middle East Studies program. He took his bachelor degree in Economics in Bogazici University. His main area of interests are social network analysis and computational sociology. He works on digital drivers of radicalization and extremism in digital space. He worked as a research assistant in a couple of funded projects employing tools of computational social science.

Image of Ahmet Kurnaz

Ahmet Kurnaz

Ahmet is a PhD student at Çanakkale 18 Mart University’s Department of Political Science. Ahmet comes from a computer science background and has advanced knowledge of R. He works on polarisation and political communication online and specialises in text mining and analysis. He was a visiting researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute in 2017 and 2018, and the University of Maryland, College Park in 2015.

Image of Damla Partanaz

Damla Partanaz

Damla is an Interactive Media Designer. She has recently completed her master’s degree at Kadir Has University’s New Media Department and serves as a teaching and research assistant there. Damla is interested in design implications of Artificial Intelligence, Human-Machine Collaboration, mental models and system design. Currently, she is working on her system design project in which human creativity meets with machine learning in coping with undesired behavior models. She is also in the design committee of Kadir Has University’s Computational Thinking undergraduate program curriculum and has an interest in teaching computational tools for non-computer scientists.

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Prof. Bruno

Prof. Bruno received his PhD in purrrrrrology several years ago. Their research has explored the dilemma: should one stay inside or go outside after the door has been opened after multiple meows. Their research is published in the best journals of their field: Paw & Society, European Journal of Whiskers Studies, and, Annual Review of Fluffiness. Many of their close colleagues participated international documentary ‘Cats of Istanbul’.


Güneş Aşık

Güneş Aşık is an Assistant Professor of Economics at TOBB University of Economics and Technology in Ankara. She has an MPA in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School and she received her PhD from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is a labour economist with research interests in employment and regional development. She works on a wide range of data intensive projects which include measuring stock of skills and the degree of mismatch in Turkish labour markets using large administrative data, exploring the impact of terrorism on female employment, evaluating the impact of employment subsidies in Turkey, estimating regional income per capita series for Turkish provinces covering the years between 1880 and 2010, and exploring how the mass minority movements at the beginning of twentieth century in Anatolia affected East-West development gaps.

Image of Evgeniia Shahin

Evgeniia Shahin

Evgeniia Shahin is a PhD Candidate and a project assistant in the Department of International Relations, Bilkent University, Turkey. In her dissertation focusing on the effects of economic sanctions on targeted leaders’ attitudes she uses both qualitative and quantitative approaches, especially text analysis. Her interests include such areas of international relations as foreign policy analysis, international political economy and conflict studies. Evgeniia holds an MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Sabancı University and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Boğaziçi University.

Image of Safiya El Ghmari

Safiya El Ghmari

Safiya El Ghmari is currently a doctoral candidate at the National Institute of Territorial and Urban Planning in Rabat. In 2017, she was awarded the Excellence Research Grant from the National Center for Scientific Research and Technology (CNRST). She has a strong background in Architecture, Urban Planning and Design, and a passion for Computational Social Science. Safiya’s current research focuses on exploring and modelling the social dynamics in risk-prone informal urban areas in Morocco. Recently, she has learnt about a set of analytical tools combining both Model Thinking and Network Science that could help better grasp these dynamics in order to enhance life quality inside these settlements such as: Cellular Automata, and Agent-Based Models.

Meltem Odabaş

Meltem Odabaş is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona, and soon will join Indiana University-Bloomington as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Social Science, affiliated with the Department of Sociology. Her current research examines how social embeddedness and communication in online settings influence collective action, behavior, perceptions, and decision-making in various settings, including economic markets, online communication platforms, and social movements. As such, her research sits at the intersection of economic and cultural sociology, and computational social science. Her future research at Indiana University will address the opioid crisis, including access to treatment, community-based risk-factors, drug-seeking behavior, overdose, and stigma. Meltem holds both Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics from Boğaziçi University.

Image of Sercan Canbolat

Sercan Canbolat

Sercan Canbolat graduated summa cum laude from the Izmir University of Economics with BA degrees in International Relations and European Union and Economics (double major). He earned his MA degree in International Relations from Bilkent University with a full scholarship and graduated cum laude. Sercan’s MA thesis focused on the political psychology of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political leaders. Sercan received the Fulbright scholarship to pursue his doctoral studies at the University of Connecticut. He studies and teaches International Relations and Comparative Politics with leadership and political psychology spins. Sercan writes his doctoral dissertation on patterns of Middle Eastern leaders’ learning to survive in the face of post-2011 Arab Uprisings. Sercan’s doctoral dissertation and broader research agenda revolve around computational social science with a focus on automated text analysis, leadership and elite network analysis, and development of non-English text coding schemes such as Turkish and Arabic content analysis schemes and dictionaries. Sercan has published several scholarly works in notable peer-reviewed outlets including, Political Research Quarterly, Polity, and Perceptions.

Image of Doruk Tunaoğlu

Doruk Tunaoğlu

Doruk Tunaoğlu is a Computer Scientist who is doing a Master’s in Social Psychology at Boğaziçi University. He has a Master’s degree from Computer Engineering of Middle East Technical University where he has studied motion learning for robotics. He is interested in using computational methods in social sciences, especially in psychology, and wants to develop better tools in this field. He thinks that there is a vast potential in analyzing the enormous online data as well as offline data such as books, movies and speeches.

Image of Aslı Ebru Şanlıtürk

Aslı Ebru Şanlıtürk

Ebru Şanlıtürk is a PhD student in Public Policy and Administration at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Her area of research is migration policies and demography, with a special focus on the recent Syrian refugee crisis in the Mediterranean region. More specifically, she is interested in the digital traces and online social interactions of migrant populations as well as data visualization techniques to map internal and international migration flows. In this regard, her research interests frequently require the use of computational social science methods, especially for the collection and interpretation of online-generated data and for advanced data visualization.

Didem Türkoğlu

Didem Türkoğlu has just defended her PhD in sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and will join New York University – Abu Dhabi as a postdoctoral associate this fall. Her research interests lie in the intersection of political sociology, social movements, and studies on social inequalities. In her book project, she conducts a comparative analysis of higher education policies and the protests against tuition hikes over the last two decades in 34 OECD countries with a special focus on England, Germany, Turkey, and the United States. She has been interested in the computational methods within the context of analyzing the media coverage of social movements and the formation of political discourse through social media use. She is in the process of developing her next project, which analyzes the effectiveness of social movement alliances in influencing policy outcomes during significant transformations in the political structures. This study will also use a mixed methods approach that combines computational methods with qualitative comparative methods, and quantitative analysis of survey data. Before UNC, she received BA degrees in political science& international relations and history, as well as an MA degree in modern Turkish history, from Boğaziçi University.

Emil Smith

Emil Smith is a PhD student in Educational Sociology at Aarhus University. He holds an MSc in social sciences in education science. His main research interest is the role of institutional contexts in the generation of social- and gender-inequality (e.g. classroom peer-effects and school culture). Methodologically Emil’s doctoral thesis will approach these issues through survey-based data and Danish register data as well as digital trace data from e-learning platforms and learning apps.

Image of Melike Ayşe Kocacık

Melike Ayşe Kocacık

Melike is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Sabancı University. Her main fields of interests are foreign policy analysis and political violence along with quantitative methods. Her interest in computational social science is mostly on automated text analysis. In her thesis, she focuses on the third-party involvement in civil conflict examining via leader statements.

Aycan Katıtaş

Aycan Katıtaş is a Ph.D. candidate in International Relations at the University of Virginia. Her area of research is international political economy, with a specific focus on public opinion on trade and Foreign Direct Investment in the United States. Her dissertation investigates the conditions under which politicians choose anti-trade messages in their election campaigns and this strategy’s effects on public attitudes and behavior. She employs causal identification and text analysis techniques combined with large-scale quantitative analysis to trace the influence of candidates’ televised campaign advertising on voters’ trade preferences. She holds a double major BA in Political Science and International Relations and Business Administration from Boğaziçi University, and an MA in European Interdisciplinary Studies from College of Europe.

Dilara Kekulluoglu

Dilara Kekulluoglu is a PhD student in School of Informatics at University of Edinburgh. Her research interests are privacy, computational social science and online social networks. Specifically, she is interested in privacy leaks that happen on online social networks. Currently she is focusing on collateral damage - information leak about you by your connections in a network, e.g. a friend celebrating your birthday online publicly. Dilara holds both BS and MS degree in Computer Engineering from Boğaziçi University. Her master’s thesis was about negotiation strategies for privacy in online social networks.

Image of Mert Can Yılmaz

Mert Can Yılmaz

Mert Can Yılmaz is an MSSc student in the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University. Currently, he is working as a teaching assistant in a project called the Violence Early-Warning System (ViEWS). He is also the submission officer of a semi-academic journal called Pax et Bellum Journal which is published by the graduate students of his department. He is quite active in some of the civil society organizations formed by Turkish diaspora in Sweden and he is a board member at Turkiska Student- och Akademikerföreningen (Turkish Students and Academics Association). Additionally, he is one of the contributors in the Ankara-based independent fact-checking organization called teyit.org. He holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Boğaziçi University.

Image of Ali İhsan Akbaş

Ali İhsan Akbaş

Ali İhsan Akbaş is a second-year MS student in the program of Digital Media and Society at Uppsala University. He has received his BA degree from the department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University. His studies, in a broader sense, aim to understand political opinion formation in fragmented informational contexts that are prevalent with the advent of the internet-based media. Specifically, he approaches polarization through the effects of misinformation and partisan news over opinion leaders within social networks. He is a motivated student about the emerging research methodologies in social sciences, both qualitative and quantitative, to advance in the studies of public opinion and political behavior.

Image of Hande Sodacı

Hande Sodacı

Hande is a junior researcher who is interested in psychology of language. She recently worked in projects investigating the influence of culture and language on bilinguals’ speech and gesture, language change in third-generation immigrants, and second language tutoring using social robots. Hande’s current research concerns the intersection of bilingualism, cross-language interactions, and language change. Her most recent work examined whether cognitive mechanisms of bilingualism have a role in the change observed in the Turkish spoken by the Dutch Turks. She would like to apply the computational methods and utilize the availability of mass data in her future projects for they can enormously contribute to this field of research. Hande holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in Linguistics as well as a research master’s degree in Linguistics.

Image of Nezih Onur Kuru

Nezih Onur Kuru

Nezih Onur Kuru is a PhD candidate and research assistant at Political Science and International Relations department in Koç University. His current research focuses on political psychology, migration and political economy. Kuru is currently focused on his PhD thesis, titled as “How Do Emotions and Partisanship Influence the Relationship between Threat Perceptions and Refugee Hostility? The Case of Turkish Citizens and Syrian Refugees”. He obtained his B.A. degree from Galatasaray University in Political Science. Kuru completed his M.Sc in the department of Political Science and Public Administration in Middle East Technical University. In his master’s thesis, he analysed the relationship between social conservatism and voting behaviour through a comparison between the AKP and the CHP voters based on World Values Survey data.

Image of Şeyma Topçu

Şeyma Topçu

Şeyma is a masters student in Political Science department at Sabancı University. She holds a double major BA degree in Political Science and International Relations and History from Boğaziçi University. Her research interests are polarization and political behavior, along with the ways in which social media can be integrated in those fields through computational methods.

Image of Saloni Bhogale

Saloni Bhogale

Saloni Bhogale is a Research Fellow at the Trivedi Centre for Political Data at Ashoka University. She has pursued an inter-disciplinary MA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Computer Science at Ashoka University. Her research applies computational methods to questions in the political science domain, particularly related to understand legislative behaviour in the Indian Parliament, through unpacking identities of parliamentarians by linking them to substantive concerns expressed by them. She is also interested in data dissemination, aiding in both the replication and expansion of computational research through building web applications for publicly available datasets.

Mustafa Yavaş

Mustafa Yavas is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at Yale University. He is interested in inequality, class & culture, sociology of work, political sociology, and social networks. In his dissertation, he explores how globalization and class formation intertwine, focusing on the quality of work life of elite Turkish business professionals with high-prestige & high-salary corporate jobs. He also works on a project that aims to map the field of political opinion in contemporary Turkey and its change over time via combining social networks analysis with automated text analysis of columns in daily newspapers.

Faiz Ahamad

Faiz Ahamad is a PhD candidate at the School of Management and Labor Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India. He is working in the area of Organizational behaviour with special focus on the recruitment process and social media. He has examined the advantages as well as challenges in the online recruitment process such as applicant’s job search behaviour, recruitment effectiveness, gender and ideological based discrimination, etc. He applies both fields as well as digital experiments involving computational social science methods.

Image of Bann Seng Tan

Bann Seng Tan

Bann Seng Tan is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science & International Relations, Bogazici University. He received his PhD from the Graduate Center at the City University New York. His research revolves around the causes and effects of democratization. My recent work is on the effective use of foreign aid in democracy promotion. A second focus is on authoritarian reactions to disaster aid.

Image of İrem Aydaş

İrem Aydaş

İrem Aydaş is a second-year master student in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Sabancı University. Her main areas of interests are public opinion, persuasion, political communication, and political participation. In her master thesis, she focuses on the effect of interpersonal discussions on political participation.

Image of Hossein Kermani

Hossein Kermani

Hossein Kermani is a PhD candidate of Social Communication Science at Tehran University, where he received his master degree working on political participation and Facebook usage in Iran. He is currently working on his PhD research project in Department of Political Science at the University of Zurich. Hossein achieved first and second rank in Iranian M.A and PhD entrance exams respectively. His research mainly revolves around the discursive power of social media in making meaning, shaping practices, changing the microphysics of power and playing with the political, cultural and social structures in Iran. Following his interests, Hossein has done several studies to shed light on Iranians’ everyday life on social media. He is also contributing author to the recently published book Social Media in Iran. Moreover, his first book social media research in Iran will be published in 2019. Moreover, he currentlyworks on his second book: Textual Analyses on Social Media.


Reading List (for everyone)

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 we’d like you to read following articles

Coding (for non-coders)

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 are unfamiliar with programming, we recommend R for synenergy benefits. You can learn R from the free RStudio Primers, which can be supplemented by the open access book R for Data Science by Garrett Grolemund and Hadley Wickham. RStudio Primers cover 6 topics: The Basics, Working with Data, Visualize Data, Tidy Your Data, Iterate, and Write Functions. If you already feel comfortable with these topics (either in R or some other language), then you do not need to complete these Primers.

If you would like more practice after completing the RStudio Primers, some other materials that we can recommend are:

Reading List (for non-social scientists)

Also, for students with little or no exposure to sociology, economics, or political science, we have assembled a collection of exemplary papers which introduce social science thinking:

Schedule and materials

Sunday June 16, 2019 - Welcome dinner (time to be decided)

Monday June 17, 2019 - Getting to know people and ethics

  • 9:00 - 10:30 Welcome: introductions, logicstics etc.

  • 10:30 - 11:00 Break

  • 11:00 - 12:30 What is research ethics and why it matters? A global perspective slides

  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

  • 13:30 - 15:00 Group exercise: Research ethics activity 1 activity 2

  • 15:00 - 15:30 Break

  • 15:30 - 16:30 Group exercise: Research ethics activity 1 activity 2

  • 16:30 - 17:00 Introduction to computational social science [live stream]

  • 17:00 - 17:30 Why SICSS? [live stream]

  • 17:30 - 18:30 Reflections

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Break

  • 23:00 - 0:30 Guest speaker: Alondra Nelson [live stream, optional]

Tuesday June 18, 2019 - Automated data collection

  • 9:00 - 9:30 Recap

  • 9:30 - 10:00 Digital trace data: conceptualization, opportunities and problems slides

  • 10:00 - 10:30 Break

  • 10:30 - 11:30 Demo & try: Screen scraping code example

  • 11:30 - 12:00 Demo: Applications in data collection

  • 12:00 - 13:00 Lunch

  • 13:00 - 14:00 Demo & try: APIs code example

  • 14:00 - 14:30 Break

  • 14:30 - 17:30 Group exercise: Data collection activity

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Break

  • 23:00 - 0:30 Guest speaker: Beth Noveck [live stream, optional]

Wednesday June 19, 2019 - Text analysis

  • 9:00 - 9:30 Recap

  • 9:30 - 10:30 Qualitative analysis slides

  • 10:30 - 11:00 Break

  • 11:00 - 12:30 Computational approaches to qualitative analysis

  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

  • 13:30 - 15:00 Group exercise: Automated text analysis activity

  • 15:00 - 15:30 Break

  • 15:30 - 17:30 Group exercise: Automated text analysis activity

  • 17:30 - 18:30 Guest speaker: Brandon Stewart

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Break

  • 20:00 - 21:00 Guest speaker: Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld [live stream, optional]

Thursday June 20, 2019 - Machine learning and surveys

  • 9:00 - 9:30 Recap

  • 9:30 - 10:30 Quantitative analysis slide code

  • 10:30 - 12:30 Group exercise: Machine learning activity

  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

  • 13:30 - 15:00 Guest speaker: Alondra Nelson [delayed stream]

  • 15:00 - 15:30 Break

  • 15:30 - 16:30 Group exercise: Machine learning activity

  • 16:30 - 17:30 Surveys in digital research [live stream]

  • 17:30 - 18:00 Computer-administered interviews and wiki surveys [live stream]

  • 18:00 - 18:30 Combining surveys and big data live stream]
  • 18:30 - 19:30 Break

  • 23:00 - 0:30 Guest speaker: Justin Grimmer [live stream, optional]

Friday June 21, 2019 - Experiments & surveys

  • 9:00 - 9:30 Recap

  • 9:30 - 11:00 Guest speaker: Justin Grimmer [delayed stream]

  • 11:00 - 11:30 Break

  • 11:30 - 12:30 Online experiments slides

  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

  • 13:30 - 15:00 Group exercise: surveys & online experiments (activity)[https://github.com/compsocialscience/summer-institute/tree/master/2019/materials/day4-surveys/activity]

  • 15:00 - 15:30 Break

  • 15:30 - 16:00 Group exercise: surveys & online experiments (activity)[https://github.com/compsocialscience/summer-institute/tree/master/2019/materials/day4-surveys/activity]

  • 16:00 - 17:00 Group exercise: surveys & online experiments (activity)[https://github.com/compsocialscience/summer-institute/blob/master/2019/materials/day4-surveys/05-intro-to-activity.pdf]

  • 17:00 - 17:30 Break

  • 17:30 - 18:30 Introduction to mass collaboration

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Break

  • 23:00 - 0:30 Guest speaker: Annie Liang [live stream, optional]

Saturday June 22, 2019 - Mass collaboration

  • 9:00 - 9:30 Recap

Sunday June 23, 2019 - Day off

Monday June 24, 2019 - Work on group projects

  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

  • 14:30 - 15:30 Guest speaker: Pablo Barbera [live stream]

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Break

Tuesday June 25, 2019 - Work on group projects

  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Break

  • 19:30 - 21:00 Istanbul Cruise Tour party

  • 23:30 - 0:30 Guest speaker: Alex Sandy Pentland [live stream, optional]

Wednesday June 26, 2019 - Work on group projects

  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Break

  • 19:30 - 20:30 Guest Speaker: Chris Wiggins [live stream] or job-market panel

  • 23:30 - 0:30 Guest speaker: Laura Nelson [live stream, optional]

Thursday June 27, 2019 - Work on group projects

  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Break

Friday June 28, 2019 - Presentation of group projects and farewell dinner

  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

  • 18:30 - 19:30 Break