News

Reproducibility requirements for the project submission

Written on 22.02.24 by Till Koebe

Dear all,

please note that we strongly encourage you to work on your project in a reproducible manner. As mentioned in our session on reproducibility, there are many ways to achieve that, so we do not demand from you to use  one specific solution, but, from our experience, the use of online coding… Read more

Dear all,

please note that we strongly encourage you to work on your project in a reproducible manner. As mentioned in our session on reproducibility, there are many ways to achieve that, so we do not demand from you to use  one specific solution, but, from our experience, the use of online coding environments such as Google Colab or containerisation/virtualization such as Docker are good ways to go about it.

However, at a minimum, we ask you to:

- submit your code alongside your report (alternatively in a notebook in one document)

- provide instructions how to run your code

- check whether the code runs on other group members' machines and produces the same results

We will positively recognise it, if a submission runs smoothly and reproduces the reported results on the first attempt. We will negatively recognise it, if a submission still does not run smoothly after debugging attempts.

Good luck with your exams!

All the best,

Till

 

New Project Report Deadline: Sun, March 10

Written on 08.02.24 by Ingmar Weber

As some people are having exams around Feb 29 (= the current deadline), we've decided to *extend* the deadline for the project reports to *Sun, March 10*.

 

Theses Options, Books on Tech Ethics, and Other Ways to Engage

Written on 06.02.24 by Ingmar Weber

(following up on a conversation at the end of the seminar today)

If the general topics we discussed in the course are of interest to you:

1. Keep us in mind for theses at all levels (BSc/MSc). Just get in touch. We're always looking for motivated students. We could either propose topics from a… Read more

(following up on a conversation at the end of the seminar today)

If the general topics we discussed in the course are of interest to you:

1. Keep us in mind for theses at all levels (BSc/MSc). Just get in touch. We're always looking for motivated students. We could either propose topics from a list we have, or work with you on something that you're passionate about.

2. Check out these book lists, compiled by Casey Fiesler:

https://twitter.com/cfiesler/status/1336317217034612737

https://gist.github.com/spara/f371e99a05cd3dcbe9897c2c74eee5a1

3. Look online for events under the umbrellas of "Data Science for Social Good" (DSSG) as well as "Computational Social Science". E.g.:

https://www.what-the-hack.saarland/ local hackathon

https://www.civic-coding.de/ a yearly (?) opportunity to pitch "for good" technology

https://datasciapps.de/dssg/ (was for 2023, but they might have more iterations)

https://dssg-berlin.org/

https://sicss.io/locations (more locations coming soon)

We're also completely revamping https://www.i2sc.net/ at the moment and will also have more events there.

Re: Recommendation for project report length and content

Written on 06.02.24 by Annika Hass

Dear all,

We would just like to add that you can use the appendix to add more detailed information/additional material to your project report, e.g. code, detailed information about the data or examples, so as not to disrupt the story of your paper.

Best regards,

Annika

Recommendation for project report length and content

Written on 06.02.24 by Ingmar Weber

Dear all,

We'll also briefly mention this in the seminar today (Tue), but I also wanted to put this in writing:

Your project reports should be similar in scope to a "short paper" at a CS conference, with a few more details on the data and data processing, as that was one of the main points of… Read more

Dear all,

We'll also briefly mention this in the seminar today (Tue), but I also wanted to put this in writing:

Your project reports should be similar in scope to a "short paper" at a CS conference, with a few more details on the data and data processing, as that was one of the main points of the seminar. In terms of length, a "short paper" typically means 4 pages (plus 1 page for references) in a very dense 2-column format. However, more than the page length, the content should serve as an example. Realistically, it will be _easier_ to write a longer paper. Writing a shorter paper requires even more clarity of message and removal of any redundancy.

Here are some examples of short papers you could look at for inspiration/reference:

Host-Centric Social Connectedness of Migrants in Europe on Facebook, https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/ICWSM/article/view/22224/22003

Automated Hate Speech Detection and the Problem of Offensive Language, https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/ICWSM/article/view/14955/14805

Analyzing the Targets of Hate in Online Social Media, https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/ICWSM/article/view/14811/14661

In these reference papers, the data details might be relatively short. That is one important detail where we'd expect more content from you.

You don't have to follow the structure in any of these papers. For general advice on how to write a paper I'd recommend watching "How to Write a Great Research Paper", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP-FkUaOcOM

The single most common "mistake" students make (IMHO) is that they write a list of "here's what we did". Related to this, there is a tendency to include every possible analysis and diagram to show "we did a lot". - But what is better (and harder!) is to write a story where the key points of the story are clearly communicated and also visually illustrated. This also requires a reflection of what is important and what is not.

Happy to discuss more in person later today. And don't hesitate to get in touch with questions.

Best regards,

Ingmar

Sharing your presentations

Written on 23.01.24 by Till Koebe

Dear all,

thanks again for those two insightful presentations today! Once you have held your project presentations, please share them with us in a timely manner:

iweber@cs.uni-saarland.de
tkoebe@cs.uni-saarland.de
ahass@cs.uni-saarland.de

All the best,
Till

 

 

Sharing your presentations

Written on 23.01.24 by Till Koebe

Dear all,

thanks again for those two insightful presentations today! Once you have held your project presentations, please share them with us in a timely manner:

iweber@cs.uni-saarland.de
tkoebe@cs.uni-saarland.de
ahass@cs.uni-saarland.de

All the best,
Till

 

 

Sharing your presentations

Written on 23.01.24 by Till Koebe

Dear all,

thanks again for those two insightful presentations today! Once you have held your project presentations, please share them with us in a timely manner:

iweber@cs.uni-saarland.de
tkoebe@cs.uni-saarland.de
ahass@cs.uni-saarland.de

All the best,
Till

 

 

Fixed Dockerfile for Reproducible Workflow

Written on 16.01.24 by Till Koebe

Dear all,

sorry again for the live demo not going as smoothly as planned. Hopefully it did not make you afraid of docker, it might first seem a bit like trying to crack a nut with a sledgehammer, but both for your studies and for the job market, making the use of docker a good habit of yours is… Read more

Dear all,

sorry again for the live demo not going as smoothly as planned. Hopefully it did not make you afraid of docker, it might first seem a bit like trying to crack a nut with a sledgehammer, but both for your studies and for the job market, making the use of docker a good habit of yours is definitely beneficial.

I fixed the dockerfile of today's live demo: https://unisaarlandde-my.sharepoint.com/:u:/g/personal/tiko002_uni-saarland_de/EWsUoY98s0tMvPlXhOP7GPgBaBmUWET-cc0WmhS3PPAX8Q?e=atRWTk

Feel free to use it for your project submission, but don't feel obliged to use it, there are many ways to ensure reproducibility (please try it among your group members before submitting it to us). If you do, feel free to get back to us in case of any questions.

All the best and see you next week,
Till

 

Evaluation link for Data and Society Seminar

Written on 15.01.24 by Ingmar Weber

Dear all,

Tomorrow, Tue, Jan 16, we'll set aside some time for you to fill out an evaluation form about the seminar.

I'm already sharing the link now in case you'd like to see the questions in advance:

https://qualis.uni-saarland.de/eva/?l=147817&p=qsuqs7

Deadline is 31.01.2024

Thanks… Read more

Dear all,

Tomorrow, Tue, Jan 16, we'll set aside some time for you to fill out an evaluation form about the seminar.

I'm already sharing the link now in case you'd like to see the questions in advance:

https://qualis.uni-saarland.de/eva/?l=147817&p=qsuqs7

Deadline is 31.01.2024

Thanks and see you tomorrow.

Best regards,

Ingmar

The slides for "how to write a great paper"

Written on 10.01.24 by Ingmar Weber

Video (from last time): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AYxMbYZQ1Y

(Updated) slides by the speaker: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/uploads/prod/2016/07/How-to-write-a-great-research-paper.pdf

Worth watching/reading IMHO.

Confirmation: Schedule of project presentations

Written on 09.01.24 by Ingmar Weber

Final project presentations:

Jan 23: (i) Team B (Syed and Neshmia),  (ii) Team A (Shams and Moustafa)
Jan 30: (iii) Team D (Amit, Come, and Umama),  (iv) Team C (Tooba, Angela, and Selvyn)
Feb 6: (v) Team E (Sofia and Darian)

Also… Read more

Final project presentations:

Jan 23: (i) Team B (Syed and Neshmia),  (ii) Team A (Shams and Moustafa)
Jan 30: (iii) Team D (Amit, Come, and Umama),  (iv) Team C (Tooba, Angela, and Selvyn)
Feb 6: (v) Team E (Sofia and Darian)

Also at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OAg1fTx7SaDQSSlbXTUb7whgloVXDHM6JdmC9HVaZaY/edit#gid=0

Let us know immediately if we got some dates/teams mixed up.

Slides/links for today, Jan 9

Written on 09.01.24 by Ingmar Weber

Happy New Year again!

The (few) slides I used are online at https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1TROOlIP4DbPEmk8opQwA_wrOAO27wJxpDNmeXxKdJOs/edit?usp=sharing. Also linked under "Material" in the CMS.

Some links:

Details of the chocolate… Read more

Happy New Year again!

The (few) slides I used are online at https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1TROOlIP4DbPEmk8opQwA_wrOAO27wJxpDNmeXxKdJOs/edit?usp=sharing. Also linked under "Material" in the CMS.

Some links:

Details of the chocolate study: https://gizmodo.com/i-fooled-millions-into-thinking-chocolate-helps-weight-1707251800

Seminal paper on "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False": https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124&type=printable

Good video on how to write a research paper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AYxMbYZQ1Y

A couple of "semantic", i.e. AI-powered engines for searching academic literature: https://consensus.app/, https://elicit.com/, and https://typeset.io/

Wiki article about the replication crisis in general: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replication_crisis

Bonferroni correction to guard against p-hacking: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonferroni_correction  (this requires being "honest" though about listing all the things that were tried)

Related: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publication_bias

Gold-standard for meta reviews: Systematic reviews, https://www.cochranelibrary.com/

Details about the (false) claims that some alcohol is better than no alcohol: https://theconversation.com/alcohols-health-benefits-hard-to-prove-but-harms-are-easy-to-document-98813  (due to the fact that non-drinkers often don't drink because they are sick)

 

[Optional] 1-hour AMA with Ingmar online (re project planning support)

Written on 28.12.23 by Ingmar Weber

Dear all,

On Tue, Jan 2, we will _not_ have a regular, in-person seminar.

Instead, I offer to be online on MS Teams from… Read more

Dear all,

On Tue, Jan 2, we will _not_ have a regular, in-person seminar.

Instead, I offer to be online on MS Teams from 10h30-11h30:

https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_ZDFiNGNjYTUtZmU1Ni00OWRmLThmNDEtZThiNmViMTk2OWMz%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2267610027-1ac3-49b6-8641-ccd83ce1b01f%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%224f1c03f9-1c68-48b5-a99f-2ad082b5fa1b%22%7d

If you have questions re project planning or other things, don't hesitate to join this online meeting. Note that this is optional though.

If possible, please let me know in advance if you plan to join, so that I don't bother in case nobody is attending. In case the MS Teams link should not work, please send me an email at the time of the meeting and we'll figure something out.

I hope you've had a nice Christmas holiday, and I wish you a good start to the new year.

Best regards,

Ingmar

Preferred date for project presentation?

Written on 19.12.23 by Ingmar Weber

Dear all,

On Jan 23, Jan 30, and Feb 6 we will have the project presentations. We will have two presentations on each of the first two dates, and one on the last date.

Team A (Shams and Moustafa) have expressed a desire to present on the first date (Jan 23).

@Other groups: Please let us know… Read more

Dear all,

On Jan 23, Jan 30, and Feb 6 we will have the project presentations. We will have two presentations on each of the first two dates, and one on the last date.

Team A (Shams and Moustafa) have expressed a desire to present on the first date (Jan 23).

@Other groups: Please let us know if you have a preference for a particular date, in particular if that date is _not_ Feb 6. (I assume that most people will want to present last.)

While we cannot guarantee to satisfy your preference, we'll certainly make an effort.

Please let us know your date preference no later than Jan 2. We will announce the data assignment on Jan 3, so that each group has at least three weeks to prepare.

Thanks again for your interest in your seminar, and have some nice holidays!

Best regards,

Ingmar

Reminder: 1-page project plan report

Written on 11.12.23 by Ingmar Weber

Dear all,

Please remember to submit a 1-page project plan report by *tomorrow*, Tue, Dec 12, either via the CMS or by email.

You can still pivot later if necessary, but you should show that you and your team have thought about which problem to study, which data to use, and which analysis method… Read more

Dear all,

Please remember to submit a 1-page project plan report by *tomorrow*, Tue, Dec 12, either via the CMS or by email.

You can still pivot later if necessary, but you should show that you and your team have thought about which problem to study, which data to use, and which analysis method to use. At least some awareness of prior related work is required. Of course, all of this will still be "shallow" at this point as you've not yet actually collected or analyzed any data for the project.

On Tue, Dec 19, you will then present your project plans and we will provide feedback to help you work on the project over the coming weeks.

Best regards,

Ingmar 

Registration in the LFS -- action required (if not done already)

Written on 06.12.23 by Ingmar Weber

If you have not yet registered in the LFS then please email  studium@cs.uni-saarland.de  with me (= iweber@cs.uni-saarland.de) in CC. Note that you will have to email from your official student email to avoid impersonation.

Please do so *today* and by tomorrow at the very latest. This was… Read more

If you have not yet registered in the LFS then please email  studium@cs.uni-saarland.de  with me (= iweber@cs.uni-saarland.de) in CC. Note that you will have to email from your official student email to avoid impersonation.

Please do so *today* and by tomorrow at the very latest. This was originally due by Nov 27.

Reminder: register in the LSF (if not done already)

Written on 06.12.23 by Ingmar Weber

Dear all,

As mentioned in the first two lectures (see e.g. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1bSA6H0ZBpcIW7brYfLg89HXIxNFN3-vKVijS6UYMMvA/edit#slide=id.p21) you have to register in the LSF (https://www.lsf.uni-saarland.de/) to eventually obtain credits for the course. This was required by Nov… Read more

Dear all,

As mentioned in the first two lectures (see e.g. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1bSA6H0ZBpcIW7brYfLg89HXIxNFN3-vKVijS6UYMMvA/edit#slide=id.p21) you have to register in the LSF (https://www.lsf.uni-saarland.de/) to eventually obtain credits for the course. This was required by Nov 27, but if you do so *today* then that's still ok with us.

Best regards,

Ingmar

 

Please pick a paper (and date) for your paper presentation

Written on 13.11.23 by Ingmar Weber

If you're taking this course as a 7-credit point seminar then please pick a paper and date for the presentation (from the author's perspective) as soon as possible:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OAg1fTx7SaDQSSlbXTUb7whgloVXDHM6JdmC9HVaZaY/edit

For this, please leave a comment in the… Read more

If you're taking this course as a 7-credit point seminar then please pick a paper and date for the presentation (from the author's perspective) as soon as possible:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OAg1fTx7SaDQSSlbXTUb7whgloVXDHM6JdmC9HVaZaY/edit

For this, please leave a comment in the corresponding column, one for the paper and one for the date.

Once we have all the dates/presentations selected, we can then have a second round for choosing a paper to discuss/review. That is only possible for papers that are also presented (on the same day).

You can ignore this message if you're taking the course as a 5-point pro-seminar instead.

We'll start at 10am _sharp_ today (Tue, Nov 7)

Written on 07.11.23 by Ingmar Weber

Please come on time, i.e. by 9.59am today (Tue, Nov 7).

We'll have only one our of instruction, followed by some unsupervised group work. Due to scheduling conflicts and illness, only I (Ingmar) will be present today and only for the first hour.

Written on 23.10.23 by Annika Hass

The seminar will take place on Tue 10-12 am in building E1.7 room 3.23. Start of the course on Oct. 31.

Please do not register for the seminar until you have been officially assigned.

Show all

Data and Society


From finding a mate to booking a holiday, our lives are increasingly mediated by online platforms. Digital traces left by these interactions provide opportunities to study societal phenomena while creating challenges around the responsible use of data. In this seminar, students will learn how computational methods and machine learning can be applied to study society through such data.

The first part of the seminar will familiarize students with existing work in computational social science with each week focused on a topic such as “love” or “food” and methods to quantify it. The second part of the seminar will be about projects in which students are asked to quantify a societal phenomenon of their choice using computational methods.

The overall course performance will be based on (i) overall course participation, (ii) assigned paper presentations, (iii) literature review and “project pitch” (prior to in-depth work), (iv) project presentation, and (v) final project reports.

Apart from learning about interdisciplinary research and applications of machine learning, students will also learn research skills such as how to read and discuss papers, how to plan a project, how to present their work, how to write a scientific paper, and how to work in teams.

Students can take this course as either a seminar (7CP) or a proseminar (5CP) or, for students not in computer science, as a course in the “Optionalbereich” (3CP). For the proseminar variant, the load in the literature-based part at the beginning of the course will be reduced, but the project-based part remains. For the Optionalbereich, students can choose between the two parts, also based on their programming experience.

Requirements: The project-based element of the seminar will require some programming and data analysis experience. Beyond that there are no formal requirements, though a desire to engage in interdisciplinary discussions and an interest in studying societal processes is a must.

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