Recent research and training workshops on social media data


Thanks to financial support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to the IUSSP and the Population Association of America (PAA) to support demographers' participation in the Data Revolution, the IUSSP Panel on Big Data and Population Processes recently organized three workshops with the main goal of fostering collaboration and favoring communication between demographers and computer scientists. 


Training Workshop on Social Media and Demographic Methods at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA), Chicago, United States, 26 April 2017.

This training workshop focused on accessing Social Media data and analyzing them using computational and demographic methods. The workshop provided an introduction to tools like Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for collecting data from social media. Emilio Zagheni, Lee Fiorio and Kivan Polimis (University of Washington) led hands-on activities related to the programmatic use of the Twitter and Facebook Adverts Manager APIs. The workshop also presented examples of demographic and computational methods that can be used to gain insights from social media data, and generated discussions among the 45 participants about recent developments in the emerging field of digital demography. Materials for the workshop are available here.


Tutorial on Digital Demography at the 26th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2017), Perth, Australia, 4 April 2017.

This tutorial, led by Ingmar Weber (Qatar Computing Research Institute) and Bogdan State (Stanford University), offered an overview of fundamental concepts in demographic research. The first part showcased traditional data collection and analysis methods such as census microdata, the construction of a basic life table, panel datasets and survival analysis. The second part presented a number of studies that have tried to overcome limitations of traditional approaches by using innovative methods and data sources ranging from geo-tagged tweets to online genealogy. Emphasis was given on methodological challenges such as issues related to bias, as well as on how to collect open data from the World Wide Web. Materials for the tutorial are available here


Workshop on Social Media and Demographic Research: Applications and Implications at the 11th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM-17), Montreal, Canada, 15 May 2017.
This research workshop, led by Emilio Zagheni (University of Washington), Ingmar Weber (Qatar Computing Research Institute) and Tom Le Grand (University of Montreal), brought together the community of demographers from Montreal and elsewhere, and the community of computer scientists who regularly attend ICWSM, for a lively research forum on recent developments to leverage traditional and new data sources. The program and the slides are available here.