University of Cape Town

June 17, 2019 - June 28, 2019 | University of Cape Town


A Summer Institute in Computational Social Science was held at the University of Cape Town from 17-28 June 2019. The purpose of the Summer Institute in Cape Town was to bring together graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty interested in computational social science. The Summer Institute was for both social scientists (broadly conceived) and data scientists (broadly conceived).

The organizer and principal faculty of the Summer Institute in Cape Town was Dr Visseho Adjiwanou. The event was supported by the University of Cape Town, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP).

The instructional program involved lectures (mostly livestreamed from Princeton University), group problem sets, and participant-led research projects. There were alsooutside speakers who conducted computational social science research in 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 students to discuss their ideas and research with the organizers, other participants, and visiting speakers. Since we are committed to open and reproducible research, all materials created by faculty and students for the Summer Institute were released open source.

Participation was restricted to Ph.D. students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty from South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. However, there were no restrictions based on citizenship, country of study, or country of employment. All cost of participations (Ticket, accommodation, meals, registration) fees were all covered.

About twenty five to thirty participants were accepted. Participants with less experience with social science research were expected to complete additional readings in advance of the Institute, and participants with less experience coding were expected to complete a set of online learning modules on the R programming language. Students doing this preparatory work will be supported by a teaching assistant who will hold online office hours before the Institute.

Application materials were due by Monday, March 25, 2019.

Applications that were not complete by the deadline did not full consideration. We notified applicants solely through e-mail in mid-March, and asked participants to confirm their participation very soon thereafter. Inquiries can be sent to

International Union for the Scientific Study of Population logo

Host a Location

You can host a partner location of the Summer Institutes of Computational Social Science (SICSS) at your university, company, NGO, or government agency.

Learn More