Data Science

The Institute for Social Research has a strong tradition of producing computational social science research. Increasingly, there are research efforts across the Institute that integrate data science approaches and methods into the social sciences. The purpose of this work is to develop these methods further and use them to improve the understanding of diverse social science phenomena. 

As data science (the convergence of expertise from the fields of advanced math and statistics, computer science, and social science domains) begins to take on a distinctive role across disciplines, we will plan events and resources for researchers who are currently participating in or interested in the area of social science data science.

Organizer:  Jule Krüger
For additional information, please contact Jule at:

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Upcoming Events

Weekly CoderSpaces

Do you write code for research or class? Do you sometimes get stuck? Or, do you want to learn how to code but don’t know where to start? Or do you just prefer to work in a more social environment?

Writing code, or “programming,” can be a fun but also challenging and lonely enterprise. Hosted by members of the ISR community, our CoderSpaces are there for you to meet other coders, so you can connect and learn from your coder peers.

Participation is open to anyone interested in code, computational social science, data science, engineering, etc. We seek to build a casual and inclusive environment where everyone is welcome regardless of their skill or level of expertise. To participate, just bring a laptop and some coding work, or just come and hang out, socialize, and assist others.

During the Fall 2019 semester, the following opportunities are available:

Tuesdays 10-11:30AM, ISR Thompson 1450, with PDHP data scientist Paul Schulz
Click here to add this event to your Google calendar.
Paul Schulz is a senior consulting statistician and data scientist for ISR's Population Dynamics and Health Program. He specializes in statistical methods and computing, including hypothesis testing, data analysis and modelling, sampling (including weight creation and adjustment), and power calculation), as well as the use of secure computing enclaves (SRCVDI, Likert cluster, and Flux/Great Lakes). Paul writes code in Stata and SAS for general purpose desktop computing, and R and Python for selected applications, such as data visualization and web scraping/automation, among other uses.

Wednesdays 9:30-10:30AM, ISR Thompson 6080, with SRC Research Assistant Professor Erin Ware
Click here to add this event to your Google calendar.
Dr. Ware is a self-taught HPC user and excited to host a weekly CoderSpace again! She is an Assistant Professor of Research in the Population, Neurodevelopment, and Genetics group at ISR. Her training has been in genetic epidemiology, public health, and statistics using SAS (local), R (server), Linux (on FLUX, MBNI, and other personal servers), batch scripting (SGE, PBS, Slurm). Dr. Ware has taught SAS (data management and statistical modeling) and introductory statistics using R. She is experienced in teaching high performance computing to individuals with limited programming background. This fall semester, she is also teaching SIADS502: math methods for data science for the online master’s of data science degree program through the School of Information.

Thursdays 2:30-4PM, ISR Atrium/1450, with ISR program manager Jule Krüger
Click here to add this event to your Google calendar.
Dr. Krüger is the ISR program manager for big data and data science, based within the Center for Political Studies. She has more than 10 years of experience in processing, analyzing and interpreting data for social science research. An expert on data generating processes, triangulating multiple databases, and expanding methodology for researching difficult to observe populations, Dr. Krüger has proficient knowledge in computer programming, statistical analysis and scientific methodology. Using a combination of R, Python, Markdown, Make, bash, LaTeX and version control, she is experienced in automating research workflows for scalable, auditable and reproducible analysis. In this CoderSpace, the primary focus is on the Python programming language, but coders working in other languages are equally welcome to attend.

View the CoderSpace Flyer


ISR Data Science Google Calendar


Past Events

#UMTweetCon2019: A Conference on the Use of Twitter Data for Research and Analytics

May 23, 2019
University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research
Click here to explore the program, slides, and photos from this event.



Click below to view tweets about the event.


ISR Data Science Lunch 2.0

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Jule Krüger, Program Manager for big data and data science at ISR, reported on new initiatives that are designed to facilitate data science research and training in the Institute.
Click to view slides

Seth Meyer, Research Computing Lead at ARC-TS, presented resources for high performance computing with a specific focus on social science applications.
Click to view slides

Kerby Shedden, Director of CSCAR, highlighted resources for research consultation and training.

Libby Hemphill, Associate Professor in the School of Information and Director of Resource Center for Minority Data, reported on the development of a Social Media Archive at ICPSR.
Click to view slides

Photos of ISR Data Science Lunch 2.0

Data Science Lunch at the Institute for Social Research

HackerSpaces at ISR during Winter 2019

Do you write code for computational social science projects?
Are you interested in advancing your programming skills?
Do you spend a lot of time on Stack Overflow?
Would you like to connect with other people in the ISR hacker community?

If you answered `yes‘ to at least one of these questions, then you are warmly invited to join our new hackerspaces at the Institute for Social Research. The communal hacking opportunities are being hosted by members of the ISR community for faculty, staff, and students. Participation is open to anyone interested in computational social science research.

The goal is to foster a diverse and inclusive hacking environment in which attendees can benefit from each other’s expertise. To participate, hackers need to bring their own laptops and, ideally, have a chunk of code they are planning to work on unless they plan to assist and join others in their coding endeavors.

There are three weekly HackerSpace events available:

Mondays, 4-6PM, ISR Thompson, Room 1450, with CPS faculty Yuki Shiraito.

Tuesdays, 10:30AM-12PM, ISR Thompson Atrium, with CPS faculty Christopher Fariss

Wednesdays, 10:30-11:30AM, ISR Thompson, Room 6080, with SRC faculty Erin Ware