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SOC 128D: Analytics for a Changing Climate: Introduction to Social Data Science

Data science has rapidly gained recognition within the social sciences because it offers powerful new ways to ask questions about social systems and problems. This course will examine how tools from data science can be used to analyze pressing issues relating to disaster, inequality, and scarcity in the Anthropocene (the current period in which humans are the primary driver of planetary changes). We will explore how a range of computational methods can be used to garner new meanings from sources such as weather monitors, press releases, websites, government programs, and more. This is a hands-on, interactive course culminating in a social data science project designed by the student or a team of up to four students. Most class sessions will be taught interactively using Jupyter Notebooks. Students will follow along with workshop-style lectures by using and modifying the provided R/Python code in real time to analyze data and visualize results. The course will cover such topics as the S more »
Data science has rapidly gained recognition within the social sciences because it offers powerful new ways to ask questions about social systems and problems. This course will examine how tools from data science can be used to analyze pressing issues relating to disaster, inequality, and scarcity in the Anthropocene (the current period in which humans are the primary driver of planetary changes). We will explore how a range of computational methods can be used to garner new meanings from sources such as weather monitors, press releases, websites, government programs, and more. This is a hands-on, interactive course culminating in a social data science project designed by the student or a team of up to four students. Most class sessions will be taught interactively using Jupyter Notebooks. Students will follow along with workshop-style lectures by using and modifying the provided R/Python code in real time to analyze data and visualize results. The course will cover such topics as the South African water crisis, Hurricane Katrina, the California Wildfires, and water rights along the Colorado River. Students will learn to explore text data with tools such as word embeddings, topic models, and sentiment analysis. Students will gain experience with Python and R and will learn about a range of packages for cleaning data, linking and matching records, and mapping their results.
Last offered: Summer 2023 | UG Reqs: WAY-AQR, WAY-SI
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