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The 1st Symposium on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science
Inequality and Imbalance


November 15-17, 2017
Venue: The Alan Turing Institute and British Library, London, United Kingdom
For inquiries: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>


General Chairs:
Luca Maria Aiello, Nokia Bell Labs
Helen Margetts, Oxford Internet Institute

Organizing committee:
Katrin Weller, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Markus Strohmaier, RWTH Aachen & GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
David Garcia, ETH Zurich
Frank Schweitzer, ETH Zurich
Eszter Hargittai, University of Zurich & Northwestern University
Kristina Lerman, University of Southern California
Ricardo Baeza-Yates, NTENT, Pompeu Fabra University & University of Chile
Keith Payne, University of North Carolina


October 13, 2017 Registration opens
October 30, 2017: Free registration opens for workshops & tutorials - subject to availability
November 6, 2017: Registration closes
November 15, 2017: Workshops and tutorials
November 16-17, 2017: Main conference



The registration fee is 60 GBP. It covers the participation fee for the workshop and tutorial day (November 15th, 2017) and the two main conference days (November 16th-17th, 2017), including coffee breaks and lunch. To secure a place for the workshop and tutorial day, don't forget to register early. A number of free registrations for the workshop and tutorial day might be offered starting from October 30th, 2017, subject to availability and will be given on a first come, first served basis.


This is the first in a series of three symposia that discuss societal challenges in computational social sciences. In the first year, the focus will be on "Inequality and Imbalance" (London, 2017). Future events will be focused on "Bias and Discrimination" (Cologne, 2018) and "Polarization and Radicalization" (Zurich, 2019).

With these three events we provide a platform to address one of the most pressing challenges in today's digital society: understanding the role that digital technologies, the Web, and the algorithms used therein play in the mediation and creation of inequalities, discrimination and polarization.

By addressing inequality as the topical issue for the symposium series we intend to explore how CSS can contribute to opening up new ways of thinking about, of measuring, detecting and coping with social inequality, discrimination, and polarization. We will discuss how divides and inequalities are proliferated in digital society, how social cleavages can be observed via web data, how the organizational structure of the web itself generates biases and inequality, and how, in contrast, algorithms and computational tools might help to reduce discrimination and inequality. We will also investigate how bias and unequal social structures foster political tension and polarization, including issues of radicalization and hate.

The Symposium series is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation<>.


Full Day
Workshop: Quantitative Tools for Qualitative Analysis: Computational Social Science Meets Discourse Analysis<>
Tutorial: Integrating Social Theory with Computational and Spatial Methods for Urban Data Science<>

Morning Workshop: Interpretability of Algorithmic Systems<>
Morning Tutorial: Charting Collections of Connections in Social Media: Creating Maps and Measures with NodeXL<>
Afternoon Workshop: Addressing Big Societal Challenges with Digital Behavioral Data
Afternoon Workshop: Developing Intelligent Decision Support Systems: Societal Challenges and Technical Strategies<>
Afternoon Tutorial: Quantitative Text Analysis Using R


Do you want to discuss your work with experts in the field? Three of our keynote speakers are available for counselling on the workshop and tutorial day. Symposium participants can book individual consulting slots of approx. 15-20 minutes with the keynote speakers to discuss ideas for their future work or planned projects. Please check the event website<> for details.

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