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Big Data in Society Summer School 6 to 17 July 2015 in Amsterdam!




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+31 (0)20 5986429


Content More and more data is being collected about us and our activities. Our social media interactions and our online search and shopping behaviour, but also offline location tracking and sensor and surveillance networks are all generating large, often real-time data sets. Potentially, these could help answer important questions facing society today. But processing them productively represents a real challenge, at the interface of social and computer science. Meeting that challenge requires not only thorough comprehension of the methodologies involved in analysing big data, but also a theoretical understanding of societal problems and, not least, the associated legal and ethical factors.


This course helps you take on the challenge by providing an overview of analytical and theoretical approaches to big data. It centers on three key themes:

Digital society: citizenship, governance and participation.

Digital communities: communication and other networks; online communities and organizations.

Digital identity: processes of self-expression at the individual level; social interactions in communities and markets.


As well as gaining hands-on experience in analysing big data, using a variety of tools, you attend lectures and visit companies that exploit such data and public organizations responsible for generating and using it in different forms. You also work on a practical project focusing on one of the key themes, which teaches you how to approach different types of big data sets in their specific technological contexts (method-data link) through one or two specific methods. Moreover, the project sessions give you an opportunity to engage with the specialist laboratories of the Network Institute at VU University Amsterdam, a unique interdisciplinary collaboration between computer sciences, social sciences, business studies and humanities.


Who should join this course? Students of Social Sciences, Computer and Information Science and Humanities. Since some understanding of social scientific approaches is required, you should previously have studied research methods and methodology.


Excursions Visits to organizations employing data analytical techniques in a social context, such as traffic regulation, communications and government.


Course information

Course level: Advanced Bachelor/Master/PhD

Coordinating lecturers: Prof. Peter Groenewegen

Other lecturers (confirmed): Dr Wouter van Atteveldt, Dr Ivar Vermeulen, Dr Iina Hellsten, Dr Lora Aroyo,  Dr Christine Moser, Prof Peter Groenewegen

Tuition fee: 950



Dr. Christine Moser
Assistant Professor

Organization Sciences
T +31 (0)20 59 82523
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POSTAL ADRESS: de Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
VISITING ADRESS: Buitenveldertselaan 3, N.329, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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