Workshops

Welcome to the Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science

Are you interested in applying innovative quantitative and computational methods to questions about social and cultural phenomena? Do you want to meet others who share this interest, get training in methods, or simply learn more about this kind of work at McGill and elsewhere?

If so, please join us!  And check out our upcoming events!

 

2019 Computing and Math Summer Camp: Three (p)refresher workshops for graduate students

August 20 to 23, August 26 to 29, and August 30

Faculty Advisors: Aaron Erlich (Political Science), Peter McMahan, Thomas Soehl (Sociology)

Quantitative approaches comprise a large and growing part of social science and humanities research. It is increasingly difficult to take graduate level courses and read important papers in your field without an understanding of statistical inference, programming, and mathematical models. McGill offers a wide range of courses to give you competency in these areas, but sometimes graduate students feel inadequately prepared to take advantage of these resources.

To help you make the most of your studies, the Faculty of Arts in collaboration with the Desautels Faculty of Management PhD program, Departments of Political Science and Sociology, the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, the Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science (CSCDS), the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC) and the Geographic Information Centre (GIC), offer three workshops before the beginning of fall term. The workshops assume no background!

We encourage you to take all of the workshops, particularly if you are an incoming graduate student, but you can also register for only one workshop. Detailed outlines of each syllabus will be available later in the summer.

Workshop I: Review of basic mathematical and statistical concepts.

Tuesday August 20 to Friday, August 23
This workshop will (re-) introduce you to notation commonly used in statistics, cover functions, basic calculus, probability theory, and linear algebra.

  • Day 1 (Optional): Review of basic Algebra, functions, notation (Greek letters) Day 2: Basic Probability and statistical concepts
  • Day 3: Calculus: Functions, derivatives, integrals
  • Day 4 (half day): Linear Algebra: Vectors, matrices, matrix multiplication

Workshop II: Introduction to statistical computing in R, and typesetting languages

Monday August 26 to Thursday August 29, Instructor: Tim Elrick
This workshop will introduce you to R, a common statistical programming language used across many courses at McGill as well as rmarkdown (typesetting language useful for producing documents that contain mathematical content and code). These are very useful and powerful tools but they have somewhat of a steep learning curve. So the goal of this part of the workshop is to get you up a good part of that learning curve.

  • Day 1: Introduction to R and working with data in R
  • Day 2: Cleaning data, types of variables and lists, dealing with missing data Day 3: Descriptive Statistics, creating graphs using ggplot2
  • Day 4: Typesetting using R markdown, R-studio Add-Ins

Workshop III: Introduction to replicable research using version control.

Friday, August 30, Instructor: Aengus Bridgman

This workshop will introduce you to Git and Github to manage your research projects. Git and Github allow for easy collaboration. They also allow you to generate replicable files necessary for publication in many journals.

Prerequisites:

NONE! If you never heard of these topics you should not be scared off. In fact, you are the perfect student for this workshop. The goal is to give you a basic overview of the material as well as the resources and the confidence to learn more. If you already have some background, but have not used this material recently, these workshops will also be useful.

Registration:

The workshops are free to attend for all McGill students and members of the CSDC. In fact, budget permitting, we will provide free coffee and bagels. If demand exceeds capacity, we will give preference to incoming graduate students. We will start forming the courses in early August. To be guaranteed consideration, register before July 31

Format and Policies:

The workshops will run all day from 9am to 4pm with a one-hour lunch break. These workshops are not for credit and there are no exams. Nobody but you will know how well you did. Still, taking the workshop will require a commitment. The sessions will involve a mix of lecture and hands-on practice. Just like any skill, you can’t learn math and computing by just watching. You have to do it to learn it. We expect you attend the entire sessions, do any readings we assign and participate in all aspects. If you register but your plans change, that’s fine but we expect that you inform us; simply not showing up you will waste our efforts and resources.

For any questions, please e-mail meghan.keenan [at] mcgill.ca (Meghan Keenan)

 

 


Free Stan Workshop

Friday January 25 to Saturday January 26th, 2019

Register now (Deadline: December 20th)

We are happy to offer a free two-day workshop on Bayesian analysis in Stan. Stan is a programming language that affords expression of a great variety of Bayesian statistical models. The workshop will be run by Charles Margossian, a core developer of Stan from Columbia University. The workshop is targeted at faculty and graduate students, who are familiar with quantitative methods (at minimum linear and logistic regression) and who want to learn more about Bayesian analysis. The workshop will assume a working knowledge of R and will be run in English. If you are the user of another statistical package or language, we encourage you to take an online workshop before attending. The instructor is originally from France, so can also take questions in French.

If you are interested in attending, please fill out our application form before December 20th, which includes a short paragraph on why justification of why you would like to attend. If you have any questions please contact aaron.erlich [at] mcgill.ca (Aaron Erlich) or thomas.soehl [at] mcgill.ca (Thomas Soehl)

This workshop is co-sponsored by: McGill Faculty of Arts, the Centre on Population Dynamics (CPD)Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC)Geographic Information Centre (GIC), and the Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science (CSCDS)

 


2018 Computing and Math Summer Camp: Three (p)refresher workshops for graduate students

August 21 to 24, August 27 to 30, and August 31

Register now (Deadline: July 31, 2018) 

Faculty Advisors: Aaron Erlich (Political Science) and Thomas Soehl (Sociology)

Quantitative approaches comprise a large and growing part of social science and humanities research. It is increasingly difficult to take graduate level courses and read important papers in your field without an understanding of statistical inference, computer programming, and mathematical models. McGill offers a wide range of courses to give you competency in these areas, but sometimes graduate students feel inadequately prepared to take advantage of these resources.

To help you make the most of your studies, the Faculty of Arts in collaboration with the Faculty of Management, the Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science (CSCDS), the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC), the Geographic Information Centre (GIC), and the Departments of Political Science and Sociology offer three workshops before the beginning of fall term.  The workshops assume no background!

We encourage you to take all of the workshops, particularly if you are an incoming graduate student, but you can also register for only one workshop.  Detailed outlines of each syllabus will be available later in the summer. 

Prerequisites

NONE! If you never heard of these topics you should not be scared off. In fact, you are the perfect student for this workshop. The goal is to give you a basic overview of the material as well as the resources and the confidence to learn more. If you already have some background but have not used this material recently, these workshops will also be useful.

Registration

The workshops are free to attend for all McGill students and members of the CSDC and CRBLM. In fact, budget permitting, we will provide free coffee and potentially lunch. If demand exceeds capacity, we will give preference to incoming graduate students. We will start forming the courses in early August. To be guaranteed consideration register before July 31 at this link.

Format

The workshops will run all day from 9am to 4pm with a one hour lunch break. These workshops are not for credit and there are no exams. Nobody but you will know how well you did. Still, taking the workshop will require a commitment. We expect you attend the entire sessions, do any readings we assign and participate in all aspects. The format will involve a mix of lecture and hands-on practice. Just like any skill, you can’t learn math and computing by just watching. You have to do it to learn it.

Workshop  I: Review of basic mathematical and statistical concepts

Instructor: Costin Ciobanu

Time: 4 days (day 1 optional) - Tuesday, August 21 to Friday, August 24

This workshop will (re-) introduce you to notation commonly used in statistics, cover functions, basic calculus, probability theory, and linear algebra.

  • Day 1 (Optional): Review of basic Algebra, functions, notation (Greek letters)
  • Day 2: Basic Probability
  • Day 3: Calculus: Functions, derivatives, integrals
  • Day 4: Linear Algebra: Vectors, matrices, matrix multiplication, determinants

Workshop  II: Introduction to statistical computing in R, and typesetting languages

Instructor: Tim Elrick

Time: 4 days - Monday, August 27 to Thursday, August 30

This workshop will introduce you to R, a common statistical programming language used across many courses at McGill as well as rmarkdown (typesetting language useful for producing documents that contain mathematical content and code). These are very useful and powerful tools but they have somewhat of a steep learning curve. So the goal of this part of the workshop is to get you up a good part of that learning curve.

  • Day 1: Introduction to R and working with data in R
  • Day 2: Cleaning data, types of variables and lists, dealing with missing data
  • Day 3: Descriptive Statistics, creating graphs using ggplot2
  • Day 4: Typesetting using R markdown, R-studio Add-Ins

Workshop  III: Introduction to replicable research using version control

Instructor: Aengus Bridgman

Time: 1 day - Friday, August 31

This workshop will introduce you to Git and Github to manage your research projects. Git and Github allow for easy collaboration. They also allow you to generate replicable files necessary for publication in many journals.