8–26 June 2020 | Stellenbosch University | Virtual Event



Image of Aldu Cornelissen
Aldu Cornelissen
Dr Aldu Cornelissen is a data scientist at Kantar. He is a specialist in Social Network Analysis and is a co-founder of the Computational Social Science Group at Stellenbosch University.
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Douglas Parry
Dr Parry is a lecturer in the Department of Information Science at Stellenbosch University. He is a co-founder of the Cognition and Technology Research group and his research concerns the interplay between digital technologies, human cognition, behaviour, performance, and affective well-being across a variety of life-situations.
Image of Richard Barnett
Richard Barnett
Richard is a lecturer in the Department of Information Science at Stellenbosch University. He is a co-founder of the Computational Social Science Group at SU and is the group's resident Computer Scientist. His current research focus is on deep learning on graphs.

Local Speakers

Image of Kyle Finlay
Kyle Finlay
Kyle runs an international data science team for a large market research firm. His team focuses on R&D, including in areas such as networks and NLP. In his spare time, he maintains a blog that applies a computational social science lens to understanding South African politics on social media.
Image of Schalk Visagie
Schalk Visagie
Schalk Visagie is a data scientist with the Kantar Group's Global Innovations Team based in Cape Town, South Africa, where he works on natural language processing. He completed his graduate studies at Stellenbosch University where his research primarily focused on minimum wage legislation and its relation to subjective well-being in South African labour markets. He is currently studying Mathematics at the LSE.


Image of Eric Nyambiriga Araka
Eric Nyambiriga Araka
Eric N. Araka is currently a doctoral student pursuing PhD in Computer Science at the Computing & Information Technology Department, Kenyatta University, Kenya. He holds Master of degree in Distributed Computing Technology from University of Nairobi, Kenya and Bachelor of Science Computer Science (First Class Honors) from Kenyatta University. He currently lectures at the School of Computing & Information Technologies at the Technical University of Kenya, Kenya. His research interest areas include Educational Data Mining, Learning Analytics, Big Data, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence in Educational Systems and Technology Enhanced Learning. Currently, his research focus is exploring how Educational data mining techniques can be used to improve the measurement and promotion of self-regulated learning in online learning environments.
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God'sGift Uzor
God'sGift is a post graduate researcher in the school of Computational and Applied Mathematics at the University of the Witwatersrand. My research looks to evaluate facial expressions applicable to e-therapy using deep neural networks. I am exploring data analysis for evaluating consumers' purchase behaviour.
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Guidance Mthwazi
Guidance is undertaking a Doctoral Degree in Information Systems (PhD IS) with the Department of Information Systems at the Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town (UCT). His broader interest is Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy formulation for improved ICT enabled Development (ICT4D) and ICT governance in southern Africa. He however, address in his inquiry, the phenomenon of electronic-governance and its roles on citizen engagement and ICT policy formulation in order to foster human developmental goals. He holds a Master of Commerce Degree in Information Systems and a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Computer and Management Information Systems. He is an upcoming Academic with more than a decade of experience on Computers and Management Information Systems.
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Hermine Kruger
Hermine is a MA candidate in Psychology at Stellenbosch University. She holds Honours degrees in BSc (Physiology) and BA (Psychology) from Stellenbosch University. Her research interests include caregiver involvement in children’s mental health and mental health services as well as chronic illness. She is currently involved in a project aimed at developing a universal life skills programme to support the mental health of adolescents in South Africa and will shortly engage in an international collaboration to assess the effect of COVID-19 on the mental health of children. She is interested in learning new methodological skills to apply to psychological research.
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Isabel Basson
Isabel Basson is a postdoctoral fellow at the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (SciSTIP) hosted by the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at Stellenbosch University. Previously she worked on the South African National Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D Survey) conducted by the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) at the Human Science Research Council (HSRC). Her main research interests involve bibliometrics, scientometrics, citation analysis and open access publishing.
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Joseph Omidosu
Joseph is a Ph.D. Candidate with the Department of Information Systems, University of Cape Town. He has a passion for technology, cybersecurity, and social impact. His research focuses on cybersecurity policies, and how computational methods can be adopted to enhance the effectiveness of cybersecurity policies. Outside research, he has a dynamic career background having worked in Telecommunication and the Government sector. He currently works for UCT Information Communication Technology Services, as a Systems Analyst, and has been involved with the implementation of the University’s Electronic Research Administration Systems, and also an associate member of the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA).
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Lucas Hertzog
Lucas is a sociologist interested in the relationship between work and digital technologies. He is a Research Coordinator at the Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescent Hub, a partnership between international organisations, governments, and universities in Africa and Europe, funded by the UK Research and Innovations Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Lucas is responsible for a work package of seven studies across South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Sierra Leone. His work focuses on secondary quantitative data analyses of existing or recently collected datasets, from studies that test impacts across multiple shared Sustainable Development Goals outcomes for adolescents. Lucas holds a PhD in Sociology from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (2019), a MSc in Sociology (2015), and BA in Social Sciences (2012) from the same university. Previously, he has worked as Lecturer in Social Sciences at the Federal University of Fronteira Sul, and as a Researcher at the Brazilian Ministry of Justice.
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Malebo Sephodi
Malebo Sephodi is a Ph.D. Candidate in Information Systems at the University of Cape Town. She is a writing fellow for the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Johannesburg. Her current research project investigates the relationship between technology and society. She is also interested in education technology and interrogates the digital divide within the South African education sector. Malebo’s other scholarly interests include African Feminist theory, critical theory, human development policy, and global politics.
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Meli M Ncube
Meli M Ncube is a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He completed his MA in Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University in 2015. His research examined dialogues, turn-taking, and conversations – all features of deliberations – on Zimbabwean Twitter, ‘Zwitter’. He current PhD study is in Media Studies where the research focus is on social media – Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp Groups – and the influence it has on the democratization processes in Africa.
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Nobungcwele Mbem
Nobungcwele is a PhD candidate in History at Stellenbosch University. She forms part of the Biography of an Uncharted People programme which conducts research related to the digital humanities and the data revolution in South African history. Her own research looks at migration in early twentieth century South Africa. She makes use of household surveys, marriage records as well as other archival material to weave together the stories and microhistories of people migrating from Eastern Cape to Cape Town. Before joining the Biography of an Uncharted People, she was a student at the University of Pretoria where she obtained her MSocSci in History and her research focused on railway histories and modernity.
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Oladele Samuel
Oladele is currently a Postgraduate student and a research fellow at the Department of Demography and Social Statistics, Federal University Oye Ekiti, Nigeria. His research interest includes Mathematical Demography, Family Planning, Mortality and Medical Demography. He has a very solid background in statistical modelling, data analysis and computer modelling of population dynamics. He has trained over 600 persons on how to choose appropriate statistical techniques and demonstrated several modules on statistical tools like SPSS, Stata, R and more. His versatility in the use of these statistical tools have won him recommendations to teach data analysis at different academic platforms, teaching both undergraduates and postgraduate students at different Universities in Nigeria.
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Sibusiso Nkomo
Sibusiso Nkomo is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Cape Town (UCT). His research focuses on the role of historical newspapers in debate and discussion in the public sphere. His dissertation will focus on the Sotho-language Leselinyana la Lesotho newspaper published by the Morija Printing Press from 1863 until late into the 20th century, playing a prominent role in the orthography, literacy, history and politics of Lesotho. He is interested in textual analysis utilised in computational social science, especially on digitised newspapers and other archival material.
Image of Sofiya Voytiv
Sofiya Voytiv
Sofiya Voytiv is employed by Sociology Department at Stockholm University, Sweden. She uses mixed methods - social network analysis and ethnography to understand if armed conflict in the “homeland” can contribute to politicisation of social network of diasporic organisations and individuals. She aims to incorporate text networks analysis into her further research.
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Tapfuma Pashapa
Tapfuma Pashapa is a Ph.D. student at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He holds a MPhil. degree in Demography from UCT and a degree in Mathematics from Midlands State University. His research interests are in Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) and the demography of developing countries. He is a member of the iCOMMS research group at UCT.
Image of Uviwe Binase
Uviwe Binase
Uviwe is a PhD candidate at the Univesity of the Western Cape (UWC) under the Statistics and Population Studies Department. Her current research seeks to understand The Economics of Tobacco Control in South Africa. She enrolled in this seminar as she has an interest in advancing her data analytics skills.

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