Advanced Quantitative Methods for Spatial and Big Data Analysis
This course provides a basic introduction to two areas of quantitative research methodology with increasing relevance for social scientists. In the first module, students are familiarized with spatially disaggregate data, spatial polygons, and point data. As a concrete application, the course will provide students with a hands-on introduction to evidence-driven computational modeling, a technique that makes it possible run simulations on representative geographic topologies of real world cases. A second module of the course will focus on the analysis of Big Data. In particular, how data gleaned from social media sites may be used for substantive social science research. Emphasis will be placed on the limitations of current research and general difficulties in using data from various social media sites. The course will serve as a point of departure for students (and faculty) interested in applying these methodologies to their own research. A good understanding of basic quantitative methods is a prerequisite; knowledge of advanced quantitative methods is an asset.