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2021 Summer School in Applied Social Science Research Methods (Advanced Courses) Successfully Completed Online

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August 2, 2021

The 10th Summer School in Applied Social Science Research Methods (Advanced Courses) was successfully held online from July 15 to July 31, 2021.

For the first time, the program was organized jointly by the Center for Applied Social and Economic Research (CASER) at NYU Shanghai with the Center for Data and Urban Science (CENDUS) at Shanghai University, continuing with the goal of fostering academic research to advance the careers of young scholars in the field of quantitative social science methods.

While COVID-19 restrictions pushed this year’s Advanced Courses online, this year also marked the first time that courses were made available to scholars and students from all over the world.  Highly selective program offerings enabled intimate class sizes with a high level of interaction and engagement.

During the past three weeks, nearly 80 scholars and students with diverse backgrounds from 52 universities and research institutions representing 7 countries (including China, Belarus, Brazil, Ireland, Singapore, U.S., and Vietnam) attended 3 systematic, in-depth courses.    

From July 15 to July 20, Yongren Shi, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Iowa presented the course Introduction to Computational Social Science. This course offered a survey of methods and techniques commonly used in computational social science, and introduced a pipeline for conducting computational social science research.   

During the second week from July 21 to July 26, Ge Lin, Professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, instructed Introduction to Spatial Analysis for Social Sciences, which introduced basic GIS concepts, spatial data processing, and exploratory data analysis.

Propensity Score Analysis, the final course of the summer school program, presented the week of July 26 by Shenyang Guo, the Frank J Bruno Distinguished Professor at the Brown School of Washington University in St. Louis focused on four closely related but technically distinct propensity score methods. The course also covered Rosenbaum’s approaches of sensitivity analysis to discern bias produced by hidden selections.

During the three-week program, students gained a critical understanding of key methods and approaches to conducting social science research and accessed valuable networking opportunities with internationally renowned faculty and peers with common research interests. Courses also enabled students to realize the potential of new social science research while gaining hands on experience with cutting edge technology.

At the end of the program, participants shared their impressions and comments about the Summer School through an anonymous online survey. Comments included many positive reflections on student experience:

“The course has opened me up to many possible areas that I can conduct research in.” 

 “Despite the impact of the COVID-19, (participating in the program was very convenient)”

“The lecturer and TA are very nice, responsible, professional, and academically enthusiastic.”

“The summer school classes introduced various aspects of sociological research to me, and I was able to interact with students who share similar interests.”

Over the past decade, the Summer School in Applied Social Science Research Methods has become one of the most recognized and original summer programs in the field of quantitative social science methods in China. With NYU Shanghai’s successful completion of the first Summer School (Advanced Courses), CASER at NYU Shanghai will continue to work with CENDUS at Shanghai University to host the training program to further broaden its national and international impact and serve as a gateway to social science communities throughout the world.

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