To see how these techniques are applied in practice, we discuss recent research findings in a variety of areas.
We cover techniques for collecting and parsing data, methods for large-scale machine learning, and principles for effectively communicating results.
Machine learning is an emerging discipline of computer science that deals with the analysis of very large data sets. His parents were perplexed to see their son rush home from school to sit for hours in front of the computer.
“At first they were like, ‘You can’t learn anything that way,’ ” Porios recalls. They realized that ‘real life’ includes things like machine learning.” Drawing on what he learned, Porios was able to participate in the International Space Apps Challenge, a virtual hackathon using data from NASA and other government agencies.
These include discussions of algorithms in the courts (in the New York Times and the Washington Post); police stops (in Slate and The Huffington Post); election polls (in the New York Times); and claims of voter fraud (in Slate, and also an extended interview with This American Life). MS&E 231: Computational Social Science (SOC 278) With a vast amount of information now collected on our online and offline actions — from what we buy, to where we travel, to who we interact with — we have an unprecedented opportunity to study complex social systems.
This opportunity, however, comes with scientific, engineering, and ethical challenges.