Tag Archives: qac

Data, Computing and Journalism

An invitation to an exciting presentation, courtesy of Joli Holmes ’17:

Increasingly, journalists are turning to tools that were once solely the domain of data analysts and computer scientists to create compelling visualizations and enhance their storytelling. Newsrooms are using accessible technology to process big and open data to assist in investigations, keep citizens informed, and help make institutions accountable— and they’re often following the tenets of data science, like making their work transparent and reproducible. It’s important, now more than ever, that data not be hidden by government agencies from the public so that it instead might be used to illuminate the truth.

Andrew, currently a Koeppel Journalism Fellow at the Center for the Study of Public Life (co-teaching QAC 250) is the senior data editor of Trend CT (http://trendct.org/about/ a CT Mirror affiliate). He was a founding producer of The Boston Globe’s Data Desk where he used a variety of methods to visualize or tell stories with data. He also was an online producer at The Virginian-Pilot and a staff writer at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He’s a Metpro Fellow, a Chips Quinn Scholar, and a graduate of the University of Texas.

Date: Monday, February 13th
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Place: Allbritton 103

Data Fest Registration Deadline

datafest_logo_Wesleyan-University-e1452889994122Joli Holmes ’17 writes in:

DataFest is a data analysis competition where students are presented with a large, complex data set and work over the weekend to explore, analyze, and present their findings. Teams of 3-5 students work together and compete against other teams from Connecticut College, Yale, UConn, Trinity and Wesleyan. Prizes for best insight, best visualization, and best use of external data are awarded. Under the auspices of the American Statistical Association, the event is organized by the Quantitative Analysis Center (QAC) and begins on Friday, April 8th 2016 at 6pm. You are free to work with the data around the clock until Sunday, April 10th at noon. We will conclude at roughly 5pm on Sunday. Meals etc. will be available for participating students and advisers/consultants throughout the weekend.


Follow this link to register: https://docs.google.com/a/wesleyan.edu/forms/d/1JCWWqZ0_c9KWbI7Kz6caiHfCtfyqNSLQ7G5dby750zU/viewform

To find out more: http://datafest.blogs.wesleyan.edu/

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, March 1
Event Dates: 6 PM, Friday, April 8 – 12 PM, Sunday, April 10

Beyond Wesleyan: Data in my Professional Life: A chat with Mansoor Alam ‘15 & Summer 2016 Apprenticeship Info Session

BeautifulDataLogo2Joli Holmes ’17 writes in:

Hi Wes friends, and DATA fanatics!

If you’re interested in doing research with a professor this SUMMER and want to get FUNDED…

The Quantitative Analysis Center (QAC) offers funding to students interested in working with professors in their quantitative research over the summer. The summer apprenticeship is targeted at students who have some experience in statistics, coding, software, and an interest in academic research. The apprenticeship is open to all majors and all years!

Mansoor Salam, Wesleyan alum ’15 will also be giving a talk about how he uses data in his professional life and the experiences he gained from being a part of the QAC at Wesleyan. Mansoor now works as a Data Engineer at Athena Health in Boston.

Please invite your friends!

Date: Friday, February 12
Time: 12:00 -1:00 PM
Place: Usdan 110

Mathematica in Education and Research

image001During this seminar, we will explore Mathematica’s use for a wide variety of practical and theoretical applications across a variety of disciplines – from exploring random walks to social network analysis. Attendees will not only see new features in Mathematica 9, but will also receive examples of this functionality to begin using immediately. No Mathematica experience is required, and students are encouraged to attend and bring questions that they would like us to address.

Date: Thursday, April 24
Time: 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM (including Q&A, refreshments at 4:15 PM)
Place: Allbritton 311

Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship – A Talk by Gary King

gary-kingToday, Gary King, Professor of Government at Harvard and Director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, will be speaking at Russell House. King is one of the most innovative and influential social science methodologists, much of his work probing the challenges and building solutions for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. He has pioneered research using automated textual analysis, health care evaluation, voting behaviours, international conflict, and the study of human mortality, to name just some fields in which he’s applied his methods.

King will talk about “Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship,” a recent collaborative investigation into the goals, scope, and effects of censorship by the Chinese government, an excellent exposition both of the impressive scope of big data analysis and its potential relevance to contemporary social and political understanding. There will be a reception following the event.

Date: TODAY, Thursday, March 6
Time: 4:15 PM
Place: Russell House

New QAC and GIS Courses on WesMaps


The Quantitative Analysis Center has added several new courses for the fall and spring semesters: one on data science, and four courses on GIS (Geographical Information Systems – above image).

These courses are:

QAC 211, Fall 2013: Digging the Digital Era: A Data Science Primer – A course in which students use R to access, organize, and analyze data through small projects to illustrate the application of techniques, and will also complete a semester-long project accessing and using data from Twitter to answer a research question. (Tuesday and Thursday, 1:10 – 2:30)

E&ES 322 and 324, Fall 2013: Introduction to GIS and GIS Service Learning Laboratory – A class and lab that must be taken in conjunction with one another. Students will use GIS (geographical information systems, tools that organize, analyze, and display spatial data). GIS is used in the class with a focus on how it can be used practically. In the lab component, students work together using GIS to answer local questions about environmental problems. No prior GIS experience is necessary. (Wednesday and Friday, 2:40 – 4:00, and Thursday, 1:10 – 4:00)

Spring courses past the jump: 

By the Numbers – Today (Tuesday) at Noon


By the Numbers is a seminar series sponsored by the Quantitative Analysis Center showcasing student research in the social sciences. This is a forum for students to present ongoing research and receive feedback from students and faculty. If you have done research, are currently doing research, or are just interested in learning more about contemporary topics in the social sciences, we hope to see you there!

Presentations will be by Eric Stephen ’13 and Catherine Doren ’13. Pizza will be provided. More details after the jump: 

Allbritton Temporarily Shut Down by Gas Leak

“Nobody seemed to care all that much about the smell.”

The Almighty Allbritton, everybody’s favorite robot name of a campus building, has been temporarily triumphed by a gas leak, which Kevin Arritt ’13 noticed around 7 pm. A swarm of firetrucks quickly arrived on the scene, lights flashing, shortly thereafter and evacuated the building. Firetrucks are still speeding down Church Street as of this post, though it’s probably because you don’t know how to use a toaster. According to the Argus’ Facebook page, “QAC tutoring services have been temporarily transferred to PAC Lab.” Espwesso coffee services have been temporarily transferred to your dreams.

Here’s Arritt’s gripping first-person account of the emergency, which he kindly leaked (ugh) to Wesleying:

We were having a meeting in the QAC. Somebody mentioned it smelled strange. When I stepped out into the main QAC area, it definitely did smell like natural gas. The rotten-eggs smell from the additive is pretty distinct.  Somebody called P-Safe and I rolled out, since I assumed the building was about to be cleared out anyway

Everybody was calm and fine. Nobody seemed to care all that much about the smell. Eric Stephen ’13 and Laura Machlin ’13 were two other people who were around.

By The Numbers: A Twice-Monthly Quantitative Analysis Center Seminar

Do you like numbers hidden in social research the way some people like veggies hidden in meatloaf? The numbers are coming to you tomorrow. From Rosa Hayes ’13:

By The Numbers is a twice-monthly seminar series sponsored by the Quantitative Analysis Center showcasing student research in the social sciences. This is a forum for students to present ongoing research and receive feedback from students and faculty. If you have done research, are currently doing research, or are just interested in learning more about contemporary topics in the social sciences, we hope to see you there! 

Wesleyan National Survey: Call for PAID Interviewers

Aubrey Hamilton ’12 wants to know if you’re interested:

Are you interested in social media, educational inequalities, terrorism, or perceptions of current policy issues including protests domestically and in the Middle East?

THIS IS THE LAST WEEK to participate as a PAID interviewer for an opinion research project sponsored by the Wesleyan Media Project, the Quantitative Analysis Center, and Professors Fowler and Long.

Want to make some EXTRA MONEY for Spring? The number of hours and schedule is up to you. Pays $8.50/hr.

If you are interested in participating please contact ahamilton[at]wesleyan[dot]edu or rchayes[at]wesleyan[dot]edu.