The Summer Institutes in Computational Social Science (SICCS) Maastricht

Leszczynska, M. (Organiser), Goanta, C. (Organiser), Costa Bertaglia, T. (Organiser), Bogdan Covrig (Organiser)

Activity: Organizing, contributing or attending an eventOrganizing or contributing to an eventAcademic


The purpose of Summer Institutes in Computational Social Science (SICSS) is to bring together graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and beginning faculty interested in computational social science for two weeks of intensive study and collaborative research that challenges disciplinary boundaries. The Summer Institutes are for both social scientists (broadly conceived) and data scientists (broadly conceived). Because of COVID-19 the structure of SICSS needed to be adjusted. The central SICSS location in 2020 was held virtually at Duke University from June 14-27, 2020 and is organized by Chris Bail (Duke University) and Matt Salganik (Princeton University). Instead of 20 initially planned partner locations, there were 8 virtual partner locations organized by SICSS alumni and the broader SICSS community (Bay Area (US), Istanbul (Turkey), Los Angeles (US), Maastricht (Netherlands), Montréal (Canada), Rutgers (New Brunswick, US), Stellenbosch (South Africa), and Tucson (US)). The Summer Institutes involved lectures, group problem sets, and participant-led research projects. There were outside speakers who conduct computational social science research in a variety of settings, such as academia, industry, and government. Topics covered included text as data, website scraping, digital field experiments, non-probability sampling, mass collaboration, and ethics. There were ample opportunities for participants 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 SICSS are available via an open-source resource so that people who are unable to attend one of the institutes are able to learn online. SICSS-Maastricht was held from June 14 till June 26, 2020. It was hosted by the Maastricht Law & Tech Lab and was organized by Monika Leszczyńska (SICSS-2019) and Catalina Goanta. SICCS-Maastricht was unique among partner locations in its focus on legal data, both from the perspective of collection as well as analysis. Throughout the duration of the Institute in Maastricht, participants explored how computational methods can be applied to legal research questions. The purpose of this two-week event was to offer a basic training on how to apply computational methods in social and legal research. Among others, we addressed cover text analysis, collection and analysis of digital data, conducting large online surveys or experiments. The Institute is a place where young researchers (PhD candidates, post-docs, untenured faculty) from various disciplines such as law, economics, sociology, data and computational science can interact and start collaborations on joint projects. We received many outstanding applications and had 19 participants from all over the world. More information about SICSS-Maastricht can be found here:
Period14 Jun 202026 Jun 2020
Event typeWorkshop
Degree of RecognitionInternational