Computational Sociology

The aim of the Computational Sociology Working Group (CompSoc) is to discover and practice the latest methods in computational sociology. We encourage current computational researchers to hone and add to their skills, while also introducing computational methods to faculty and students who have never used such methods in their research. 

Our activities include: programming, software and data dessions, workshops for students' projects and fellowship applications, guest lectures, and a journal club. Our meetings are usually Wednesdays 10:30-12 in Haines 108 or Haines 279. 

We also have an ongoing reading group to learn a new computational method, deep learning. In meetings, we discuss and solve problem sets related to readings of the open access textbook Deep Learning. These meetings are usually Wednesdays 1:30-2:30 in Haines 108. 

To join our email list, suggest a meeting topic (e.g., programming in Python) or workshop a project or proposal, please email student coordinators Bernard Koch,,  Ian Peacock,, or Alina Arseniev-Koehler, Jacob Foster is our faculty sponsor. 

CompSoc Reactor (Haines 108)

  • Student coordinators' offices are in Haines 108
  • We have weekly office hours  in the academic year in Haines 108 for consultation with students who would like assistance and support in proposing or carrying out computational sociology projects. For Spring 2018, Bernie's office hours are: Wednesdays 12-1, Alina: Thursdays 12:20-1:20, Ian: Fridays 8:30-10.  We're all also available by appointment through-out the year. 
  • When students need extra RAM or access to software, they may use computers in the reactors. For bigger batch jobs, we recommend getting an account on the Hoffman2 server

For additional resources such as a reading list, list of digital research tools, and data resources, please see our site on Open Science Framework and our GitHub.

Fall 2018 Schedule:

Sept 17-21: Computational Social Science Bootcamp (CSSB). This 5-day, all day intensive workshop is designed to: 1) familiarize you with common methods and concepts used in computational social science, 2)  provide a forum for collaborations and project development, and 3) help you develop your technical skills. No technical pre-requisites are expected. Priority application for UCLA Sociology graduate students is July 23. Please email Alina ( for additional information, to apply, or if you are intersted in leading/co-leading a session. 9:30-4:30, daily. Location TBA on UCLA Campus. 

Spring 2018 Schedule:

4/18 Journal Club: "The spread of true and false news online." 10:30 in Haines 108.

4/25 Professor Pablo Suarez Serrato (UC Santa Barbara Mathematics and Instituto de Matemáticas UNAM): "Social Automation, Twitter bots and Human Rights." 10:30-12 in Haines 279.

5/16 Professor Amir Goldberg (Stanford Graduate School of Business). "Deciphering the Cultural Code: Cognition, Behavior, and the Interpersonal Transmission of Culture. 10:30-12 in Haines 279. "

5/30 Professor Carolyn Parkinson (UCLA Psychology). "Neural Encoding and Cognitive Consequences of Human Social Networks." 10:30-12 in Haines 279.

6/7 Professor John Levi Martin (University of Chicago Sociology). 5-6:30 in Haines 279, co-sponsored with Soc 237.

6/8 Workshop: Word2Vec Language Modeling for Social Science Applications. 10-12 in Haines 215. RSVP by emailing Alina at


Winter 2018 Schedule:

Wednesdays: Deep Learning Group. 1:30-2:30 in Haines 108.

1/17  Workshop: Intro to Text Analysis in Python. 10:30-12 in Haines 215.

1/20 Workshop: Statistical Programming in R. 12-2 in Haines 279.

1/24 Chris Esposito (UCLA Geography): "Innovation and Housing Prices: The Spatial Dimension of Knowledge Flow Networks". 10:30-12 in Haines 215.

1/31 Professor Daniele Silvestro (Gothenburg University Biological and Environmental Sciences): "Modeling the evoluton of (bio)diversity through origination, extinction, and migration processes. "10-11 in Haines 279. 

2/2 Professor Neal Caren (UNC Chapel Hill Sociology): "Grande Resistance: Protest During the Trump Presidency." 10:30-12 in Haines 279, co-sponsored with MOMWG.

2/21 Workshop: Text Analysis from Scratch (as part of the UCLA Library Winter Workshop Series). 11:30-1:30 in the Young Research Library.

Fall 2017 Schedule:

10/16 Workshop: NSF Review. 10:30-12 in Haines 279.

11/1 Professor Hongjing Lu  (UCLA Pychology): "Mining for Meaning: From Word2vec to Abstract Semantic Relations." 10:30-12 in Haines 279.

11/13 Planning the Computational Sociology Field Exam. 10:30-12 in Haines 279

11/20 Journal Club: "Human Decisions and Machine Predictions." 10:30-12 in Haines 279

11/27 Workshop: Summer Internships and Fellowships in CompSoc and Data Science. 10:30-12 in Haines 279.

11/29 Workshop: Python programming basics with applications to text data. 10:30-12 in Haines 279.