The Centre for IT and Society hosted the Workshop recently on “Computational Methods in Social Sciences” at the Social Sciences and Humanities Department, IIIT Delhi. The University of Chicago, Delhi Centre and Microsoft Research, India supported the 2-day event.
This was a first-of-its-kind workshop in India that witnessed the participation of well-reputed international academics from premier institutes such as the University of Chicago, King’s College, London and Imperial College, London, amongst others. The primary focus of this workshop was to explore how advances in computational and statistical methods along with increased access to extensive data are transforming research avenues in the fields of Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science, and Psychology. The eventcovered research topics like Algorithmic Game Theory, Computing in Social Contexts, Applied Game Design and Social Dynamics, and Big-Data Methods for Public Policy Research.
The Director, IIIT-Delhi, Professor Pankaj Jalote, inaugurated the workshop and addressed the audience about the ubiquitous role of computing in the daily lives of people. Alluding to the advancements in technology and its influence on society, he elaborated on the philosophy behind the B.Tech CS+X programs initiatedat IIIT-Delhi, to address the synergies of computer science with various other disciplines and fields like social sciences and design.
James Evans, Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Knowledge Lab at the University of Chicago delivered the keynote lecture. He spoke of several pertinent themes, which included big data research methods, the need to combine fieldwork and learnings from social sciences with computational science methods. Panel discussions were held on the role of computational methods in social sciences and the scope foradvancing Computational Social Sciences as an educational discipline and program in India were discussed at length.
Researchers at the workshop included ProfessorsPatrick Jagoda and Kristen Schilt from the University of Chicago; Siddharth Gupta and SagarVerma from Granular co., USA; Dr. RazvanNicolescu, Imperial College London; Dr. Raphael Susewind, Kings College London; Dr. ShriramVenkatraman, Dr. Manohar Kumar, Dr. Rakesh Chaturvedi, Dr. GauravArora, Dr. RatanSuri,Dr. Aasim Khan, Saif Ali from the Social Sciences and Humanities Department, IIIT-Delhi, andDr. Debasis Mishra from Indian Statistical Institute Delhi.
The 2018 workshop at IIIT-Delhi was a step towards defining the Center’s effort to foster collaborations and explore research possibilities in the domain of computational social sciences, especially in the Indian context. This step will hopefully lead to newer collaborations and developments in the emerging field of computational social sciences.