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Data Science: Visualizations in R

FSS – Data Science: Visualizations in R

Due to a revolution, or democratization, there is more data available. This necessitates researchers to communicate their data. Visualization has become invaluable, both for research as well as for societal impact. In this course, we pay attention to various ways to visualise information accounting for the different audiences.

Dr. Mariken van der Velden (m.a.c.g.vander.velden@vu.nl)

Dr. Mariken van der Velden (m.a.c.g.vander.velden@vu.nl)

View the profile of Mariken van der Velden
Portrait of dr. Mariken van der Velden

Course Description

Course objectives

After successfully completing Module 1 of this short intensive course, you are able to critically reflect on the implications of the selection, structuring and manipulation of data for the outcome of their work. Additionally, you are able to evaluate results critically and in a systematic manner. 

After successfully completing Module 2 of this short intensive course, you have a basic understanding of computational tools for visualization in order to continue to acquire computing skills, work with many types of data and media and involves high level critical and analytical skills. 

Content

The explosion of digital communication and increasing efforts to digitize existing material has produced a deluge of material such as digitized historical news archives, policy and legal documents, political debates and millions of social media messages by politicians, journalists, and citizens. This has the potential of putting theoretical predictions about the societal roles played by information, and the development and effects of communication to rigorous quantitative tests that were impossible before. Besides providing an opportunity, the analysis of such “big data” sources also poses methodological challenges. One of them being to visualize what is in your data in order to better communicate the results.

This course aims to give students an introduction to data analytics for the visualization of data. R will be used as platform and language of instruction, but the basic principles and methods are easily generalizable to other languages and tools such as python, Stata or SPSS. Participants will be given handouts with examples based on pre-existing data to follow along but are encouraged to work on their own data and problems using the techniques offered.

Study Characteristics

  • Discipline: Quantitative Methods
  • Language: English
  • ECTS: 2
  • Type of education: Blended
  • Academic skill: Research
  • Graduate School: Graduate School of Social Sciences
  • Start date: 24.01.2022
  • End date: 28.01.2022
  • Minimum number of students: 5
  • Maximum number of students: 12
  • Admission criteria: This workshop is open for all PhDs in all stages of their project. It is possible to work with own data for those who have data and/or results to communicate. Mariken will also provide data for those who do not have data yet. Before Module 1 starts you will be asked to hand in a brief survey asking about the kind of research you are conducting, which methods, and which data, if you have experience with statistical programmes and what kind of experience, in which phase of your project you are and in which discipline.
  • Concluding assessment: Yes
  • Assessment type: Data visualization + explanation thereof
  • With Certificate: Yes
  • Schedule info: 

Session 1:  Monday, 24 January 2022 (13.00-17.00)

Session 2:  Wednesday, 26 January 2022 (13.00-17.00)

Session 3:  Friday, 28 January 2022 (13.00-17.00)

  • Registration deadline: 13-12-2021
  • Available to: PhD students VU. Fee for non VU-GSSS members: € 300,- (You will be placed on a waiting list until the registration deadline)
  • About the teacher: dr. Mariken van der Velden is an assistant professor of Political Communication at the Department of Communication Science at VU University Amsterdam and a board member of the Dutch Election Studies Foundation. She holds a PhD from the political science department of VU University Amsterdam. Before Van der Velden rejoined VU Amsterdam, she was a researcher in the departments of political science at the University of Oxford, the University of Chapel Hill North Carolina, and the University of Zurich. Mariken is involved in several NWO and EU funded research projects, including one on the legitimacy of government communication during the Corona pandemic. Van der Velden specializes in communication by politicians, citizens' political conception of how democracy works, and computational social science. In doing so, she looks at topics such as polarization, use of emotions in politics, and public opinion formation. Her most recent research examines how politicians proclaim inevitable compromises to the public and what political compromises do to trust in and legitimacy of democracy using virtual-reality games, experiments, and computational text analysis.
  • Course Description & Study Characteristics

    Course Description

    Course objectives

    After successfully completing Module 1 of this short intensive course, you are able to critically reflect on the implications of the selection, structuring and manipulation of data for the outcome of their work. Additionally, you are able to evaluate results critically and in a systematic manner. 

    After successfully completing Module 2 of this short intensive course, you have a basic understanding of computational tools for visualization in order to continue to acquire computing skills, work with many types of data and media and involves high level critical and analytical skills. 

    Content

    The explosion of digital communication and increasing efforts to digitize existing material has produced a deluge of material such as digitized historical news archives, policy and legal documents, political debates and millions of social media messages by politicians, journalists, and citizens. This has the potential of putting theoretical predictions about the societal roles played by information, and the development and effects of communication to rigorous quantitative tests that were impossible before. Besides providing an opportunity, the analysis of such “big data” sources also poses methodological challenges. One of them being to visualize what is in your data in order to better communicate the results.

    This course aims to give students an introduction to data analytics for the visualization of data. R will be used as platform and language of instruction, but the basic principles and methods are easily generalizable to other languages and tools such as python, Stata or SPSS. Participants will be given handouts with examples based on pre-existing data to follow along but are encouraged to work on their own data and problems using the techniques offered.

    Study Characteristics

    • Discipline: Quantitative Methods
    • Language: English
    • ECTS: 2
    • Type of education: Blended
    • Academic skill: Research
    • Graduate School: Graduate School of Social Sciences
    • Start date: 24.01.2022
    • End date: 28.01.2022
    • Minimum number of students: 5
    • Maximum number of students: 12
    • Admission criteria: This workshop is open for all PhDs in all stages of their project. It is possible to work with own data for those who have data and/or results to communicate. Mariken will also provide data for those who do not have data yet. Before Module 1 starts you will be asked to hand in a brief survey asking about the kind of research you are conducting, which methods, and which data, if you have experience with statistical programmes and what kind of experience, in which phase of your project you are and in which discipline.
    • Concluding assessment: Yes
    • Assessment type: Data visualization + explanation thereof
    • With Certificate: Yes
    • Schedule info: 

    Session 1:  Monday, 24 January 2022 (13.00-17.00)

    Session 2:  Wednesday, 26 January 2022 (13.00-17.00)

    Session 3:  Friday, 28 January 2022 (13.00-17.00)

    • Registration deadline: 13-12-2021
    • Available to: PhD students VU. Fee for non VU-GSSS members: € 300,- (You will be placed on a waiting list until the registration deadline)
    • About the teacher: dr. Mariken van der Velden is an assistant professor of Political Communication at the Department of Communication Science at VU University Amsterdam and a board member of the Dutch Election Studies Foundation. She holds a PhD from the political science department of VU University Amsterdam. Before Van der Velden rejoined VU Amsterdam, she was a researcher in the departments of political science at the University of Oxford, the University of Chapel Hill North Carolina, and the University of Zurich. Mariken is involved in several NWO and EU funded research projects, including one on the legitimacy of government communication during the Corona pandemic. Van der Velden specializes in communication by politicians, citizens' political conception of how democracy works, and computational social science. In doing so, she looks at topics such as polarization, use of emotions in politics, and public opinion formation. Her most recent research examines how politicians proclaim inevitable compromises to the public and what political compromises do to trust in and legitimacy of democracy using virtual-reality games, experiments, and computational text analysis.

Graduate School of Social Sciences