June 12 to June 24, 2022 | Imperial College London


The Summer Institute will bring together people from many fields and backgrounds. In order to use our time together efficiently, there are a number of things that you should do before participating in SICSS-London 2022.

  • Complete the pre-institute readings
  • Complete coding bootcamp (if needed)
  • Prepare your computing environment

TAs will host office hours through Slack to support you as you work through these pre-arrival materials.


In order to prepare for SICSS-London 2022, you should read Matt Salganik’s book, Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age (Read online or purchase from IndieBound, Princeton University Press), or Amazon, Barnes & Noble. Parts of this book, which is a broad introduction to computational social science, will be review for most of you, but if we all read this book ahead of time, then we can use our time together for more advanced topics.

Computing environment

Please note that the coding work taught at SICSS-London will employ R and/or Python. You are required to have at least some familiarity with one of these languages before the program starts. And everyone should be able to run both R and Python code from their laptop. We will conduct in-class coding tutorials in both R and Python. Before SICSS you should install a modern, stable-release version of R and RStudio. For Python, you should also open an account in google Colab, if you do not already have one. During the program, you are welcome to employ a different language of your choice, such as Julia, if you prefer. However, we cannot support those languages.

Coding Boot Camp

If you are new to programming, we recommend preparing by learning the basics of one of these languages. In particular, the SICSS Boot Camp is an online training program created by Chris Bail to provide you with beginner level skills for coding in R so that you can follow the more advanced curriculum we teach at SICSS. The videos and materials are designed for complete beginners and are best viewed as a sequence since each video builds upon content introduced in previous tutorials. If you are already familiar with the topics in these videos, you do not need to complete them.

If you would like more practice after completing the Boot Camp videos, some other materials that we can recommend are:


Before participating at SICSS-London 2022, you should have an account in the SICSS 2022 Slack workspace. If you have not used Slack before, you should review these getting started materials. Slack can be hard to use at first, but we’ve found that it is the best way to enable everyone to collaborate.


Many participants at SICSS use GitHub to collaborate. If you do not yet have one, you should create a GitHub account. If you are a student, we recommend that you apply for a GitHub Student Developer Pack.

Office hours

The SICSS-Duke TAs will host weekly office hours in the SICSS 2022 Slack. You can find information about the office hours in the SICSS 2022 Slack channel #pre-office-hours. If you are not able to attend during the regularly scheduled office hours or have any questions about office hours, please contact one of the TAs.

In addition, our own TA will be able to answer questions during our program. Please reach out to them in the SICSS London 2022 slack channel.

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.

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