Teddy DeWitt

Big Data

ICOS Big Data Camp

As organizational life continues to move online, it is tracked through various electronic media, such as websites, platforms, and social networks. All of our movements are being recorded as billions of digital traces. The ability to analyze the large-scale datasets generated by this digital activity is becoming a necessary skill for social scientists. To ensure that social science students are prepared, I have designed, organized, and led, a weeklong, all-day intensive workshop in big data and computational methods for PhD students called ICOS Big Data Camp. In this workshop, we introduce students to Python, SQL databases, the command line, and Python packages such as pandas, Beautiful Soup, Gensim and NLTK. While the first ICOS Big Data Camp occurred in 2013, I have over the past three years restructured and redesigned it to be:


  1. More comprehensive: I have led the expansion of the camp’s material offerings to include text analysis, Map/Reduce, pandas and Matplotlib
  2. More research-focused: In camp, I have brought in researchers and campus experts to demonstrate the significant potential of computational tools in various research use cases.
  3. More replicable: The camp format and materials have been carefully refined. I can now bring this course to social science PhD students anywhere. I could also modify it to be part of an MBA “math camp,” or adapt it into a half-semester course for MBAs or undergraduates.

I am prepared to teach Big Data Camp as a workshop or adapt to be a half-semester class. If you have further questions please feel free to contact me, look at the Big Data Camp wesbite or examine the Github repository from the 2018 camp for sample code downloads.

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