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Revision as of 00:35, 14 November 2022 by Kaylea (talk | contribs) (typo fix)


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

CDSC members at the CDSC group retreat in March 2021 (pandemic virtual edition #3). Left to right by row, starting at top: Connor (special guest!), Regina, Nick, Floor, Aaron, Nate, Sohyeon, Carl, Stef, Emilia, Salt, Jeremy, Charlie, Kaylea, Sneha, Mako. Check out our other group photos!


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.

Research News

Follow us as @comdatasci on Twitter and subscribe to the Community Data Science Collective blog.

Recent posts from the blog include:

Community Dialogue: Informal Learning
We had another Science of Community Dialogue! This most recent one was themed around informal learning, talking about communities as informal learning spaces and the sorts of tools and habits communities can adopt to help learners, mentors, and newcomers. We had presentations from Ruijia (Regina) Cheng (University of Washington, CDSC) and Dr. Denae Ford Robinson …
— mollydb 2022-11-30
Mapping the many pathways of learning in online communities
Thousands of widely used online communities are designed to promote learning. Although some rely on formal educational approaches like lesson plans, curriculum, and tests, many of the most successful learning communities online are structured as what scholars call a community of practice (CoP). In CoPs, members mentor and apprentice with each other (both formally and …
— Ruijia "Regina" Cheng 2022-11-16
Presentations at Aaron Swartz Day, Nov 12th
CDSC members Molly deBlanc and Kaylea Champion will be presenting at this year’s Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon. Molly will speak at 2:50 p.m. Pacific (talk title: My (Extended) Body, My Choice). Kaylea will speak at 3:15 p.m. Pacific (talk title: The Value of Anonymity: Evidence from Wikipedia). Registration and live stream details are …
— kaylea 2022-11-12
Join the CDSC at CSCW 2022!
If you’re attending ACM-CSCW this year, you are warmly invited to join CDSC members during our talks and other scheduled events. CSCW is not only virtual but spread across multiple weeks and offering sessions multiple times to accommodate timezones. We hope to see you there — we are eager to discuss our work with you! …
— kaylea 2022-11-09

Courses

In addition to research, we teach classes and run workshops. 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.

Purdue Courses

  • [Fall 2022] Communication and Social Networks (COM 411, Fall 2022) – This class focuses on understanding how the structure of relationships between people influence communication patterns and behavior. This perspective can help us to understand a broad set of phenomena, from online communities to friendships to businesses. The course will also introduce students to using network visualizations to gain and share insights about network phenomena. Taught by Jeremy Foote.

University of Washington Courses

Public Data Science Workshops

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 six times in Seattle between 2014 and 2020. 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.

Research Resources

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.

About This Wiki

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 <math> tags like this: <math>\frac{\sigma}{\sqrt{n}}</math> and it will write .