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 will have weekly office hours  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. 
  • 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 Quarter 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.

Winter Quarter 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.

Spring Quarter Schedule (so far):

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 (Time and Location TBA).

5/25 Workshop: Intro to GGMap in R. 10:30-12, location TBA.

5/30 Professor Carolyn Parkinson (UCLA Psychology). 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.