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.

Listserv: To suggest a meeting topic (e.g., programming in Python), workshop your project/proposal, or stay up to date with what we’re doing and hear about opportunities in computational social science, please email:

Contact:  Student coordinators of the CompSoc Working Group are: Bernard Koch,,  Pablo Geraldo,, and Alina Arseniev-Koehler, Jacob Foster is our faculty sponsor.

CompSoc Reactor (Haines 108)

  • Student coordinators’ offices are in Haines 108
  • We have office-hours, by appointment in Haines 108 for students to drop by and work in the Reactor independently or collaboratively, or get assistance and support for computational sociology projects.
  • 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

Sample Past Events (subscribe to our listserv for current events):

Spring 2019:

4/24 Jake Thomas (UCLA Sociology) “Has International Mobility Become Socially Stratified More Due to Homophily or Hierarchy?” 10:30am in Haines 215

5/14 Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld  (UCLA Public Policy):  “The effect of violence, cleavages, and free riding on protest size” in Haines 279

5/22 Rob Voigt (Stanford Linguistics): “Computing Social Meaning from Micro to Macro”  at 10:30 in Haines 279

Winter 2019:

1/22 Workshop: Project Brainstorming. 3:00 in Haines 108

  • Bring an abstract of a CompSoc project idea to trade and get LOW KEY collective feedback/brainpower in small groups or pairs.  Vague, crazy, sketchy, and idealistic project ideas are welcome! This could also be your chance to pitch an  early-stage GRM/GSRM  idea.

1/29 Chris Esposito (UCLA Geography):  “The Evolution of Technical Knowledge Across Space and Time.”  3:00 in Haines 279.

2/1 Workshop:  GGMaps in R.  1:00 to 2:00 in Haines 215

2/28 Professor David Jurgens (University of Michigan Information and  Electrical Engineering and Computer Science): “Uncovering large scale social processes through computational linguistic analysis.” 10:30 in Haines 279.

3/8 Clara Hanson (UCLA Sociology): “Digital Privacy and Experimental Design” 10:00 in Haines 108.

Fall 2018:

9/17-9/21: 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 was July 23. Please email Alina ( for additional information. 9:30-4:30, daily, in Pub Affairs 2278.

10/9 Workshop: Project Brainstorming. 10:30 in Haines 108

  • Bring an abstract of a CompSoc project idea to trade and get LOW KEY collective feedback/brainpower in small groups or pairs.  Vague, crazy, sketchy, and idealistic project ideas are welcome! This could also be your chance to pitch an early-stage NSF  idea.

10/16 Workshop: NSF Proposal Review. 10:30 in Haines 108.

11/13 Alina Arseniev-Koehler: “Measuring Stigma in Language, with Word2Vec and Human-Rating Data.” 10:30 in Haines 215.

11/20 Bernard Koch. “A Theory of Macro-cultural Change.” 10:30 in Haines 215.

12/5 Devin Cornell (UCSB Sociology). “Discursive Fields and Party Influence in Colombian Politics.” 10:00 in Haines 279.

Spring 2018:

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:

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:

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.