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Programming with Python for Social Science Bootcamp- Application

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The University of Manchester

Manchester

M13 9PL

United Kingdom

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This four-day bootcamp is aimed at academics and postgraduate researchers across the social sciences wishing to build skills with computer programming as a research method. The event will provide participants with not only programming skills (i.e. the “how” of programming) but also explore Python as a tool that can be creatively applied to problems in the social world (i.e. the “why” of programming as a social researcher).

The bootcamp is free to attend, places will be awarded via this application process. The deadline for applications is 12pm on Friday 30th August, with decisions being sent by the 16 September. We will be providing a light lunch each day, one evening meal for all partcipants and free B&B accomodation for the Tuedsay to Thursday evenings for those outside of the Manchester area.

Prior to the event, participants will be briefed on how to install relevant software packages and be given a selection of readings to introduce them to the various intersections between software/algorithmic design and social science research work.

The event itself will open with a crash course in Python programming designed to take absolute beginners up to an intermediate level. This will include guided “hands-on” instruction with Python as well as talks on methodological issues, and introductions to exemplary use cases of Python in social research; all of this will be delivered with an emphasis on the various relevances of these skills for participants’ work.

There will be a range of activities for participants to engage in to build and practice their skills with Python in collaboration with other social science practitioners. For instance, there will be a workshop component on designing (research-relevant) software tools and algorithms, where participants will work in groups to sketch out (on pen and paper) designs/plans for various applications selected from randomised combinations of flashcards. Participants will feed back their results to the wider group as a collaborative discussion on software design issues as a methodological concern.

Building on this, participants will also engage in a more hands-on “hackathon” event, working in small groups to plan out and start building tools, algorithms or applications that would be of relevance to their research goals, and participants will feed back their initial results to the wider group for the purposes of constructive critique (which affords an opportunity for participants to think about how to conceptualise and talk about programming in a social science context).

Overall, this bootcamp aims to provide participants with a core set of Python programming skills, and kickstart collaborations and projects that will both foster an emerging network of social science programmers and provide opportunities for them to continue developing their skills beyond the event itself.

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The University of Manchester

Manchester

M13 9PL

United Kingdom

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