Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The new study abroad (SA) program "CyberSociety" (, which was announced earlier, is approaching its first term. We are making steady progress about the program's details and the specifics of the affiliation with Eötvös University in Budapest. We have formed agreements with teaching staff and secured the elements of the infrastructure.

This is a 2nd call for students for the 2012 Spring Semester.

Application deadline is November 15. For application details, consult the homepage at

The CyberSociety semester deals with innovative approaches in the social sciences. Besides sociology and social science majors susceptible to learn and adopt computational methods, the program expects physics, computer science, mathematics and different science majors with an interest to apply modeling and quantitative tools to social phenomena.

Please help us by advertising the program, contacting colleagues, students and administrators.

We are looking forward to a successful program!
Thank you for your support,

Best regards,

George Kampis and Peter Erdi,
Directors, BSCS

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Research Assistant Job Announcement

San Francisco Office

Who We Are: Harder+Company Community Research is a consulting firm whose mission is to strengthen the social sector by providing organizations with the information and tools they need to do their work effectively. Founded in 1986, our firm now has offices in San Francisco, Davis, Los Angeles, and San Diego, California. Our clients include nonprofits, foundations, and public agencies—and cover a wide range of topics including arts and culture, child welfare, education, health, human services, and philanthropy. For these diverse clients, we conduct needs assessments, evaluate programs and funding initiatives, and facilitate strategic planning and community engagement projects, among other services. For more information about our firm, visit our website:

Who We Need: Harder+Company seeks a Research Assistant in its San Francisco office to provide support on a diverse array of team-based research projects. The Research Assistant will be responsible for literature reviews; planning and assisting with focus groups; conducting interviews; entering, coding, and analyzing data; administering surveys; and assisting with the preparation and editing of reports. Some travel within California necessary. The ideal candidate would contribute to the diversity of Harder+Company and enjoy contributing to the effectiveness of organizations working for social change.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Assist with quantitative and qualitative primary data collection including interviews, focus groups, case studies, and surveys. May include assisting with the facilitation of focus groups.
  • Manage logistics for focus groups, case studies, surveys, and external meetings.
  • Enter data, prepare and label SPSS data files for analysis and reporting. Analyze survey data, including frequencies, cross-tabulations, means tables, and tests of statistical significance.
  • Conduct literature reviews and internet research.
  • Maintain communication with project team through emails and team meetings as needed.
  • Manage resources and time effectively and adjust to changing demands and priorities.
  • Assist with preparation of reports and presentations, including write-ups, editing, tables, charts, and formatting.
  • Maintain positive and professional interactions with clients and their stakeholders.
  • Skills, Qualifications & Experience:
  • Bachelor’s degree in social sciences or related field
  • At least 1 year of research experience, preferably outside the classroom
  • Demonstrated understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent writing and oral communications skills
  • Detail oriented with effective time management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Experience working with diverse populations
  • Ability to be an effective team player and to work independently
  • Bilingual preferred, but not required

This position is full time with an annual starting salary of $35,000 to $45,000 commensurate with experience.
Harder+Company offers a generous benefits package.

To apply: Send resume and cover letter to:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Social Networks PhD Positions in Dublin

The Dynamics Lab ( at UCD CASL and the Geary Institute in University College Dublin, in collaboration with the newly established IBM Dublin Research Lab ( , is seeking PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows to work in the area of "Extreme Scale Social Network Simulations".

Sucessful candidate(s) are likely to have prior training in the computer and/or mathematical sciences or the business/social sciences combined with excellent computational skills.

The successful applicants will be funded by the IRCSET Enterprise Partnership Scheme.  Interested candidates should send their CV by 20th September 2011 to Dr Diane Payne at the Dynamics Lab, CASL and Geary Institute, UCD ( and  Dr Georgios Theodoropoulos at IBM Dublin Research Lab (

For further information and enquiries please contact Dr Diane Payne ( and Dr Georgios Theodoropoulos (

General Overview

Social systems that need to be analyzed and modelled are becoming increasingly more complex in their structure and interdependencies. This coupled with the increasing capacity of scientific computation, as well as the various modelling techniques, challenges researchers to move towards extremely large scale social systems. Data are being collected and organized into databases at finer levels of granularity and these micro-data can now support individual-based simulations. Likewise computational power is advancing rapidly, so that researchers can now run large-scale micro-simulation models that would not have been computationally executable just a couple of years ago.

The Dynamics Lab at UCD, in collaboration with IBM, is particularly interested in exploring various ICT applications for research on governance and policy modelling within extremely large social networks.  This collaboration links to IBM’s Exascale programme which has the aim to create and evaluate novel ideas to advance the design of extreme scale systems and applications.

Some potential areas for research focus include:
1.      Social Networks and Distributed Collective Decision Making
2.      Self-Organisation through Social Networks for Effective Emergency Response
3.      Social Media, Civil Unrest and Collective Political Mobilisation
4.      Political Blog Communication, Opinion Formation and Leadership

Monday, September 12, 2011

MIT Researchers Create New Urban Network Analysis Toolbox

MIT Researchers Create New Urban Network Analysis Toolbox 
MIT News (09/06/11) Caroline McCall

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers associated with CityForm Research Group have developed an Urban Network Analysis (UNA) toolbox that can help urban designers and planners describe the spatial patterns of cities using mathematical network analysis techniques. "Network centrality measures are useful predictors for a number of interesting urban phenomena," says MIT's Andres Sevtsuk. The new toolbox, which is an open source plug-in for ArcGIS, enables urban designers to compute five types of graph analysis measures on spatial networks, including reach, gravity, betweenness, closeness, and straightness. The tools utilize several features that make network analysis especially suited for urban street networks. The tools account for geometry and distances in the input networks, as well as incorporating buildings, which are used as the spatial units of analysis for all measures. The tools also allow buildings to be weighted based on their particular characteristics, such as volume, population, and general importance. In addition, the toolbox offers a set of analysis options to quantify how centrally each building is positioned in an urban environment and how easily a user can access different amenities from each location.

From ACM news via SOCNET via Barry Wellman

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sociology on Twitter

You can use Twitter to follow the latest in the discipline of sociology. There's a consolidator called "This Week in Sociology" (@ThisWeekInSoc) or you can just track the hash tag #sociology. Tweets by the social theory class at Mills are marked #soc116.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Headline: America's Next Top Sociologist (from Slate)

Reblog from Slate
America's Next Top Sociologist 
A daylong photo shoot for Vogue pays only $150, women are like milk cartons, and other insights from the academic study of modeling.
By Libby Copeland 
Posted Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, at 1:06 PM ET
Ashley Mears. Click image to expand.There's a long tradition among academics of embedding in an occupation to study it. In the middle of the last century, social psychologist Marie Jahoda worked in an English paper factory to learn about about the lives of factory girls. More recently, sociologist Loïc Wacquant studied boxers by becoming one, while Sudhir Venkatesh spent seven years with a gang in the Chicago projects. One academic worked as a cotton picker, another entered prison as an inmateAshley Mears embedded as a model. (Click for more...)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Old articles in JSTOR freed

.@JSTOR Opens Up U.S. Journal Content From Before 1923: "nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals"” #soc116

Why study geography?