My courses in the 2019 Radboud Summer School

In 2019, I will offer two courses in the Radboud Summer School. The first course is the Social media theory and research. I have offered this course already for a couple of years to students at my department and at the Radboud Summer School.

Social Media Theory and Research

What does typical social media data tell us about politicians’, journalists’ and citizens’ engagement in society? During this course, you will learn how to look at these actors’ online behaviour, their expressed opinions and sentiments as well as their interconnectedness (online social networks), using a multi-theoretical approach. Furthermore, attention will be devoted to the potential that social media data provide but also to its limitations.

The second course is new: Data Science with R. I’ve been using R as my main statistical tool for years, and it’s amazing software to do all kinds of analyses, more versatile than SPSS. And for free.

Introduction to Data Science with R and Rstudio for the Social Sciences

Whether you are a social scientist, a business analyst or a data journalist, analyzing data is key to greater understanding of the world around us. To be able to understand quantitative data we need tools of high quality and, if possible, for free. R and R studio are free and multiplatform software applications for descriptive analysis, predictive, and causal analysis, and are increasingly adopted software tools for Data Science in academics, and business (e.g. Microsoft, Google).

I will teach these courses back to back, so you can take them consecutively. It may be interesting to do so, because some of the examples in the data science course will focus on social media data.

So, if you’re interested, stay tuned for more information about detailed content and how to enter the courses. This information will be available some time in January, 2019. More general information about the Radboud Summer School can be found here.

Visiting Berlin’s Weizenbaum Institute

So, my trips for doing science in the past few years have mostly been to the far east, such as South Korea, Japan and Indonesia. Today, my travels bring me to the near east: after eight years I have arrived in Berlin, Germany again, only 600 kilometers from home. Today, I start my short fellowship at the Weizenbaum Institute, on invitation by Ulrike Klinger.

It’s nice to spend a few weeks in Berlin, not like on vacation but as a temporary resident. I arrived on Friday, exploring the city by bike on Saturday, and on Sunday jogging in Grunewald. And it’s good to brush up my German language skills (it’s been a while since I watched Rappelkiste or Tatort)

My main activity here in Berlin will be to teach PhD students the intricate ways of R and RStudio. I’m looking forward to do it. I already met a few people who’ll participate.

In the mean time, I am revising the course, redoing all the slides using Markdown in R. This course will also be the backbone of the new Radboud Summer Course in 2019 about data science. More on early 2019 on this blog.

But, besides doing some science, I also enjoy visiting museums such as the Technology Museum. Visit it, but take your time: it’s LARGE.

Presentation held at hunting lodge St. Hubertus

Yesterday, I took a ride to De Hoge Veuwe Park, more specifically jachtslot St. Hubertus (Hunting lodge St. Hubertus, formerly owned by the couple Kröller-Müller). Although I’ve seen the building before – park De Hoge Veluwe is an amazing park to hike – I’ve never been inside the building before. Designed by famous architect Berlage, it’s a beautiful building.

Lake At Park De Hoge Veluwe
Lake At Park De Hoge Veluwe

The reason for being there was being invited to talk about media and democracy. The group of invitees for the discussion consisted of people from politics, business and science. My talk specifically was about the tone on social media during the 2017 lower house campaign. We started at 17:30 and it ended at 23:00, and have very insightful discussions over an excellent dinner.
I won’t go into details any further, for two reasons. First, the presentation will find its way in a publication some time in the future. Also, the meeting was held under the Chatham House Rule, which states that …

When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

This is an interested format, allowing participants to express their opinions freely.
This is one of the reasons I really like my job: It brings you to exciting places and in contact with interesting people.
So, again, if you are in the neighborhood of the Park de Hoge Veluwe, any season, go visit it.