Big Questions, Big Data, and Big Computation (B³): Frontiers of Computational Social Science is a one-day, joint conference between the University of Chicago and Microsoft Research. The conference will take place October 3.
Please use: #UChiB3
The conference will explore how big questions of social science can be addressed, reimagined or transformed with digital data and massive computation; what novel questions arise with these innovations; and what classic questions become distorted when posed in this new context.
In particular, the conference will focus on how social scientific inquiry articulates with advances in Virtual Labs, which extend the size, duration and in some cases ecological validity over traditional labs; Intelligent Surveys, which use nonprobability sampling and active learning to maximize information and reduce sample complexity; Digital Observatories that instrument interaction, identify performance and ensure privacy while enabling new approaches to causal inference; and Digital Archives that preserve massive, detailed traces of human behavior and communication.
We will ask: How have these advances shaped the unfolding landscape of social theory, and how could they? Each topic will be tackled by a panel of scientists and scholars from the University of Chicago and Microsoft Research.
8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Session 1: New Questions for Digital Archives
This session will explore recent advances in the use of digital archives (e.g., historical archives, including government documents, and contemporary ones like Twitter) and will compare these with current approaches to archival analysis and inference over “found” data. Panelists will seek to understand how digital archives access new contexts and facilitate the posing of new questions.
UChicago: *Justin Grimmer, James Evans, Matt Taddy,
MSR: Hannah Wallach, Emre Kiciman
10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 – 12:30 p.m. Session 2: New Questions for Digital Observatories
This session will explore recent advances in digital observatories (e.g., in organizations, markets, and cities) and will compare these with current and traditional organizational analyses. Panelists will seek to understand how digital observatories enable novel inquiry and change our understanding of prior questions.
UChicago: Charlie Catlett, *Kathleen Cagney, Luc Anselin, Sanjog Misra, Sendhil Mulainathan
MSR: Amit Sharma, Ashton Anderson
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch: Box lunch will be provided to registered attendees.
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Session 3: New Questions for Intelligent Surveys
This session will explore recent advances in nonprobability sampling and active learning to maximize information and reduce sample complexity in, for example, surveying. The session will also compare these advances with current approaches to population representative randomized samples. Panelists will seek to understand how interactive, intelligent surveys change the nature of representative questioning, providing efficient access to opinions but also distorting the projects as opposed to traditional survey gathering methods.
UChicago: Steve Raudenbusch, Robert Gibbons, *James Evans
MSR: David Rosthchild, Shawndra Hill,
2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 – 3:30 p.m. Ignite Talks on Big Questions, Big Data
Five-minute, fast-action talks on work at the cutting edge of computational social science by faculty and students from the University of Chicago
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Session 4: New Questions for Virtual Laboratories
This session will explore recent advances in virtual labs, as well as comparisons with physical labs (advantages and limitations). Panelists will seek to understand how virtual labs pose or make accessible new questions and change our understanding of classical inquiry.
UChicago: Dan Yurovsky
MSR: *Duncan Watts, Sid Suri, Dan Goldstein
4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks and Future Directions:
James Evans and Duncan Watts
Confirmed panelists and presenters include:
Ashton Anderson (Microsoft Research)
Luc Anselin (Sociology, Center for Spatial Data Science)
James A. Evans (Sociology, Knowledge Lab)
Robert Gibbons (Biostatistics)
Dan Goldstein (Microsoft Research)
Shawndra Hill (Microsoft Research)
Emre Kiciman (Microsoft Research)
Sanjog Misra (Marketing, Booth)
Sendhil Mullainathan (Economics, Harvard & Visiting Faculty, Booth)
Steven Raudenbusch (Sociology)
David Rothschild (Microsoft Research)
Amit Sharma (Microsoft Research)
Sid Suri (Microsoft Research)
Matt Taddy (Miscrosoft Research & Econometrics and Statistics, Booth)
Hannah Wallach (Microsoft Research)
Duncan Watts (Microsoft Research)
Dan Yurovsky (Psychology)
1155 E 57th St, Chicago, 60637, IL, United States