Generative AI and Computational Social Science


Instructor: Yongjun Zhang, PhD
Dates: July 22 – July 26, 2024

Course Description

Large language models have transformed the field of computational social science. The rapid development in generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) such as ChatGPT and LLaMA2 has enabled social scientists to build new toolkits to innovatively and efficiently process multimodal data such as texts and images. This course aims to introduce basic tools to leverage large language models to advance social theories and address social science problems. Topics in the course consist of research ethics in the Gen AI era, basics in machine learning, basics in language modeling, fine-tuning large language models, using open-sourced LLMs such as LLaMa2, and prompt engineering with ChatGPT. The primary programming language used in the course includes Python (Students with limited programming language are also encouraged to apply).

About the Instructor

Yongjun Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Institute for Advanced Computational Science at the State University of New York (Stony Brook). He is also a research affiliate at New York University. Dr. Zhang is a computational sociologist who combines computational, network, and statistical methods with large-scale datasets to study organizational, social, and political behavior, particularly focusing on segregation and polarization in different settings. His work has appeared in leading social science journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, Demography, Social Forces, Journal of Marriage and Family, Scientific Reports, and Plos One, among others. He also serves on multiple editorial boards including Social Science Computer Review, Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, Journal of Mathematical Sociology, The Sociological Quarterly, and Nature Scientific Data. He has won the 2020 James Coleman Award from the Sociology of Education Section at American Sociological Association and the 2021 SIM Best Paper Submission at the Academy of Management.

© 2024 All Rights Reserved

Contact Us