26 June to 7 July 2023 | University of Johannesburg
The 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-IPATC 2023.
TAs will host office hours through Slack to support you as you work through these pre-arrival materials.
In order to prepare for SICSS-IPATC 2023, we recommend reading 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.
The SICSS Boot Camp is an online training program created by Chris Bail to provide you with beginner level skills in coding 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:
Please note that the majority of the coding work presented at SICSS-IPATC will employ R. You are welcome to employ a language of your choice, such as Python, Julia, or other languages that are commonly used by computational social scientists. However, we cannot support those languages.
To prepare for the winter school, we highly recommend to participate in our R Bootcamp. This year we partner with DataCamp, a learning platform that generously offers us access to over 360 inveractive courses through DataCamp for Universities. DataCamp’s philosophy is learning-by-doing, so the methodology combines short expert videos and hands-on exercises. DataCamp offers over 350+ courses by expert instructors on topics such as importing data, data visualization, and machine learning. They are constantly expanding their curriculum to keep up with the latest technology trends and to provide the best learning experience for all skill levels. We recommend to do the following courses in this order:
Some of the activities will require coding, and we will support R. You are welcome to use other languages, but we cannot guarantee that we can support them. Before SICSS you should install a modern, stable-release version of R and RStudio.
Before participating at SICSS-IPATC 2023, you should have an account in the SICSS 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.