Advanced Seminar in Computational Linguistics: Computational Social Science
In their 2009 Science article, “Computational Social Science”, David Lazer and colleagues wrote that our online activity “leaves digital traces that can be compiled into comprehensive pictures of both individual and group behavior, with the potential to transform our understanding of our lives, organizations, and societies.” Many of those digital traces involve language behavior (social media being the most obvious example), which creates some incredibly interesting opportunities for computational linguists.
Now, "social science" is an unmanageably huge topic. The Wikipedia page on Social Science includes disciplines ranging from archaeology to social work. In this seminar, we'll narrow the field by focusing specifically on the idea of linguistic signal for underlying mental state, organizing the content largely around two main areas of study.
This seminar will mainly involve readings and in-class discussion, helped along by participation in discussions on Piazza. The class will be graded as follows:
Each week you'll need to do the readings and do a brief writeup that summarizes and reacts to those readings, due the Monday night before class by posting it to the class discussion board.
I hope to encourage hands-on projects that involve real problems, aiming for papers suitable for submission to appropriate conferences. There also may be an interesting opportunity to get project work started early in the semester rather than waiting until the end.
Philip Resnik, Professor
Department of Linguistics and Institute for Advanced Computer Studies
Department of Linguistics
1401 Marie Mount Hall UMIACS phone: (301) 405-6760
University of Maryland Linguistics phone: (301) 405-8903
College Park, MD 20742 USA Fax: (301) 314-2644 / (301) 405-7104
http://umiacs.umd.edu/~resnik E-mail: resnik AT umd _DOT.GOES.HERE_ edu