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CDSC members at Pok Pok in March 2017. Clockwise from top left: Sneha, Mako, Aaron, Emilia, Nate, Jeremy, Sayamindu, Salt.


The Community Data Science Collective is an interdisciplinary research group made of up of faculty and students at the University of Washington Department of Communication and the Northwestern University Department of Communication Studies.

We are social scientists applying a range of quantitative and qualitative methods to the study of online communities. We seek to understand both how and why some attempts at collaborative production — like Wikipedia and Linux — build large volunteer communities and high quality work products.

Our research is particularly focused on how the design of communication and information technologies shape fundamental social outcomes with broad theoretical and practical implications — like an individual’s decision to join a community, contribute to a public good, or a group’s ability to make decisions democratically.

Our research is deeply interdisciplinary, most frequently consists of “big data” quantitative analyses, and lies at the intersection of communication, sociology, and human-computer interaction.

Workshops and Courses[edit]

In addition to research, we run workshops and teach classes. Some of that work is coordinated on this wiki. A more detailed lists of workshops and teaching material on this wikis is on our Workshops and Classes page. In this page, we only list ongoing classes and workshops.

Public Data Science Wrokshops Workshops[edit]

Community Data Science Workshops — The Community Data Science Workshops (CDSW) are a series of workshops designed to introduce some of the basic tools of programming and analysis of data from online communities to absolute beginners. The CDSW have been held roughtly twice a year since times in Seattle in 2014. So far, more than 100 people have volunteered their weekends to teach more than 500 people to program in Python, to build datasets from Web APIs, and to ask and answer questions using these data.

University of Washington Courses[edit]

Northwestern Courses & Workshop[edit]

Research Resources[edit]

If you are a member of the collective, perhaps you're looking for CommunityData:Resources which includes details on email, TeX templates, documentation on our computing resources, etc.

Recent Research Blog Posts[edit]

Community Data Science Collective at ICA 2017
A good chunk of the collective is heading to San Diego this week for the 2017 international communication association conference. Here is a list of our ICA presentations, with links to the conference program which includes abstracts and other details: Fri, May 26, 11:00 to 12:15, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 4, Sapphire 410A: Learning to … Continue reading "Community Data Science Collective at ICA 2017"
— groceryheist 2017-05-22
Roundup: Community Data Science Collective at CHI 2017
The Community Data Science Collective had an excellent week showing off our stuff at CHI 2017 in Denver last week. The collective presented three papers. If you didn’t make it Denver, or if just missed our presentations, blog post summaries of the papers — plus the papers themselves — are all online: Starting Online Communities: … Continue reading "Roundup: Community Data Science Collective at CHI 2017"
— Benjamin Mako Hill http://mako.cc 2017-05-22
Children’s Perspectives on Critical Data Literacies
Last week, we presented a new paper that describes how children are thinking through some of the implications of new forms of data collection and analysis. The presentation was given at the ACM CHI conference in Denver last week and the paper is open access and online. Over the last couple years, we’ve worked on … Continue reading "Children’s Perspectives on Critical Data Literacies"
— sayamindu 2017-05-19
Surviving an “Eternal September:” How an Online Community Managed a Surge of Newcomers
Attracting newcomers is among the most widely studied problems in online community research. However, with all the attention paid to challenge of getting new users, much less research has studied the flip side of that coin: large influxes of newcomers can pose major problems as well! The most widely known example of problems caused by … Continue reading "Surviving an “Eternal September:” How an Online Community Managed a Surge of Newcomers"
— charleskiene 2017-05-19


About This Wiki[edit]

This is open to the public and hackable by all but mostly contains information that will be useful to collective members, their collaborators, people enrolled in their projects, or people interested in building off of their work. If you're interested in making a change or creating content here, generally feel empowered to Be Bold. If things don't fit, somebody who watches this wiki will be in touch.

This is mostly a normal MediaWiki although there are a few things to know:

  • There's a CAPTCHA enabled. If you create an account and then contact any collective member with the username (on or off wiki), they can turn the CAPTCHA off for you.
  • Extension:Math is installed so you can write math here. Basically you just add math by putting TeX inside <nowiki> tags like this: <math>\frac{\sigma}{\sqrt{n}}</math>