Switzerland, Lugano

Content Analysis and Natural Language Processing

online course
when 24 August 2020 - 28 August 2020
language English
duration 1 week
fee CHF 700

The following workshop will be held by Professor Hills during Week 2 (24 - 28 August, 2020).

Workshop contents and objectives
The aim of this workshop is to provide participants with practical hands-on and theoretical understanding of new methods in content analysis made possibly by applying digital technology to text corpora.

This approach scales from words to documents to large text corpora. Some of the kinds of questions this approach addresses include:

Predicting views of brands (what does it mean to be a luxury brand, and what do people think of different colors?)
Understanding the speech of political leaders (Is Trump the most negative U.S. president? Does he have dementia?)
Detecting historical changes in happiness (which nations are happiest, and how is their happiness changing?)
Using language to predict personality or changes across an individual's lifespan (e.g., how did the writing of Darwin, Mozart, and Van Gogh change across their lifespan?)
The course will begin by providing participants with an understanding of what natural language processing offers content analysis. Automation can allow interesting content questions to be answered in very short periods of time (sometimes minutes), saving weeks or months of research time. It can also introduce new questions that lead to innovative research programmes.

Specific cases will be used to motivate more detailed analysis of their methodological approach and participants will work with real data to replicate existing findings and investigate novel hypotheses of their own. Finally, participants will receive guidance in developing and answering questions of their own, working on their own projects.

On completion of the course, participants will be able to recognize and implement many common approaches to content analysis using NLP and take the first steps towards formulating and addressing problems of their own in social data scientists or the digital humanities. Participants will also be provided with detailed information about how to follow up and learn more with respect to their particular area of interest.

Prerequisites
Participants taking this course should be interested in learning more about the power of computational approaches to automate questions in communication, humanities, and the social sciences. Though the course will primarily use R, I will provide all the code. Participants will therefore learn a bit about R, but can also import results in Excel or to other platforms (e.g., SPSS).

Software
Students are advised that prior knowledge with R will help them advance more quickly with their applications, but this knowledge is not necessary to learn from this course. The course will provide a general introduction to R and, more importantly, a strong conceptual foundation for understanding what natural language processing can achieve.

Course leader

Thomas Hills: Professor of Psychology at the University of Warwick and he is currently the Director of the Bridges Doctoral Training Centre in Mathematical and Social Sciences and the Co-Director of the Behavioural Science Global Research Priority.

Target group

Everyone who is interested; there are no formal requirement. Note that many workshops have some prerequisites.

The Summer School workshops are conceived for those who need to deepen and widen their methodological knowledge and skills for their work, research projects and (PhD) theses: students, junior and senior researchers, practitioners from academia and outside academia at any stage of their careers whenever the need for further training in methodology arises.

Course aim

The course will begin by providing participants with an understanding of what natural language processing offers content analysis. Automation can allow interesting content questions to be answered in very short periods of time (sometimes minutes), saving weeks or months of research time. It can also introduce new questions that lead to innovative research programmes.

Credits info

The Summer School cannot grant credits. We only deliver a Certificate of attendance, i.e. we certify your
presence

If you consider using Summer School workshops to obtain credits (ECTS), you will have to investigate at your home institution (contact the person/institute responsible for your degree) to find out whether they recognize the Summer School, how many credits can be earned from a workshop/course with roughly 35 hours of teaching, no graded work, and no exams.

Make sure to investigate this matter before registering, if this is important to you.

Fee info

CHF 700: The Summer School in Social Science Methods is financed through participant’s fees.

There are two fees:

Reduced fee: 700 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for students (requires proof of student status).
Normal fee: 1100 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for all others.
These fees includes also participation in one of the preliminary workshops (two-day workshop preceding the Summer School).
To qualify for the reduced fee, you are required to send a copy of an official document that certifies your current student status or a letter from your supervisor stating your actual position as a doctoral or postdoctoral student. Send this letter/document by e-mail to methodssummerschool@usi.ch.
CHF 1100: The Summer School in Social Science Methods is financed through participant’s fees.

There are two fees:

Reduced fee: 700 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for students (requires proof of student status).
Normal fee: 1100 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for all others.
These fees includes also participation in one of the preliminary workshops (two-day workshop preceding the Summer School).
To qualify for the reduced fee, you are required to send a copy of an official document that certifies your current student status or a letter from your supervisor stating your actual position as a doctoral or postdoctoral student. Send this letter/document by e-mail to methodssummerschool@usi.ch.

Scholarships

As the Summer School is financed through participant’s fees alone and has no funds of its own, it cannot offer any scholarship, grants or financial aid.