WICSS-Abu Dhabi

January 2024 | NYU Abu-Dhabi


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

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

You can contact the TAs through the ta.wicss@nyu.edu to support you as you work through these pre-arrival materials.


In order to prepare for WICSS-Abu Dhabi, all participants are expected to 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. If we all read this book ahead of time, then we can use our time together for more advanced topics.

Coding Boot Camp

The majority of the coding work presented at WICSS-Abu Dhabi will employ Python. If you would like to learn the Python programming language, we recommend the following materials:

You are welcome to employ other languages of your choice, such as R, but we cannot guarantee to support other languages. If you are more comfortable using R, we expect you to be familiar with all the topics in Chris Bail’s online training program SICSS Boot Camp. If you are new to programing, we highly encourage you learn Python.

Computing environment


Some of the activities will require coding, and we will support Python. You are welcome to use other languages, but we cannot guarantee that we can support them. Before WICSS-Abu Dhabi you should install a modern, stable-release version of Python 3 and Jupyter Notebook. If you are looking for an environment management tool to keep your libraries organized, we recommend conda.


You are welcome to use R, but we cannot guarantee support for R. If you choose to code in R at at WICSS-Abu Dhabi, you should install a modern, stable-release version of R and RStudio.


Before participating at WICSS-Abu Dhabi, you should have an account in the WICSS 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 WICSS 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.

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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