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Microcredential

Computational Social Science

University of California, Davis via Coursera Specialization

(40)

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Overview

For more information please view the Computational Social Science Trailer Digital technology has not only revolutionized society, but also the way we can study it. Currently, this is taken advantage of by the most valuable companies in Silicon Valley, the most powerful governmental agencies, and the most influential social movements. What they have in common is that they use computational tools to understand, and ultimately influence human behavior and social dynamics. An increasing part of human interaction leaves a massive digital footprint behind. Studying it allows us to gain unprecedented insights into what society is and how it works, including its intricate social networks that had long been obscure. Computational power allows us to detect hidden patterns through analytical tools like machine learning and to natural language processing. Finally, computer simulations enable us to explore hypothetical situations that may not even exist in reality, but that we would like to exist: a better world. This specialization serves as a multidisciplinary, multi-perspective, and multi-method guide on how to better understand society and human behavior with modern research tools. This specialization gives you easy access to some of the exciting new possibilities of how to study society and human behavior. It is the first online specialization collectively taught by Professors from all 10 University of California campuses.

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Taught by

Martin Hilbert

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Reviews for Coursera's Computational Social Science Based on 40 reviews

  • 5 stars 85%
  • 4 stars 10%
  • 3 stars 5%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Minjoo L
Minjoo completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course exceeded my expectations tremendously! I was able to learn from professors from every UC campus which gave me expertise knowledge in every area. When I signed up for the course I immediately understood that this course is perfect for people like me who wanted to see what computational social science is about. It very interesting as the interactive labs allow you to actually use what you have learned and what it means. Being a visual learner it was great to have a course like this where it is not just lectures, but rather interactive assignments that you are able to do while given a step by step process. All the things I have learned throughout the course I will be able to use when I want later in life. I definitely recommend taking this course as you will be able to learn the beginnings aspects of SNA, ethics, and computer simulations.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I took this course through UC cross enrollment 2 years ago . The course content was very up-to-date, and included guest lectures from professors from a very wide range of disciplines, so it would be interesting to students regardless of their majors. Despite not being a student in the social sciences (my majors are in humanities and arts,) this class has equipped me with a lot of basic digital literacy (e.g, present issues of privacy with photo filter apps, epidemic modeling) that has been helpful in everyday life. I hope Prof. Hilbert can make more of his classes available.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Having taken this course as an undergraduate, I can honestly say that this course effectively simplified complex concepts through practical projects. Computational Social Science might seem 'scary' at first, but Dr. Hilbert managed to provide diverse content, superb guidance, and enough flexibility to be creative to make the learning experience sufficiently challenging and extremely rewarding. Whether you're taking this course as first-timer or seasoned researcher, one can narrow or expand their interests while maintaining a comprehensive learning experience.

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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
This is an excellent course for beginners just learning about computational social sciences, or for those looking to brush up on their knowledge. The course is nicely laid out, with each section featuring an interactive lab relating to social network analysis, that helps you apply what you have learned in a fun, effective way. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in careers involving social network analysis or human behavior.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Each of the courses in the specialization was very rich in content. It has been very interesting to learn the application and interdependence of every aspect covered in this specialization.

More importantly, Prof. Hilbert is very engaging, very well versed with this specialization and lastly..very hilarious! He makes an otherwise tough specialization very enjoyable!

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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
This class taught me so much. The most valuable part I found, unfortunately is during this recent pandemic. I found that after taking this class my understanding of the developing social transmission was increased. The assignments helped me understand the graphics being used, because we created similar basic ones in this class.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
It would be better if instructor speak more formal.

As learner with English as a second language, prefer meaningful sentences with clear pronunciation!
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
This course opened an entirely new area of communication studies that fascinated and intrigued me. If you look at the course before starting, a lot of it may seem very advanced and difficult to understand but watching the lectures carefully and really following along, this course introduces a broad range...
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I've never given a course a 5/5 before but this one really deserves it.

I've based my review on the following points:

- it introduces a new, multi-disciplinary, complex topic but in a way that is very clear

- They use a step by step approach to take you on a journey where they peel away layer after layer until you go from theoretical background to actual implementation

- The quizzes and assignments are reasonably challenging, not too easy and not too difficult

- The course has a variety of skilled teachers and uses multiple resources which all come together to not just teach the subject, but also provide an overview of the field

- Personally I liked how quirky the professors at UC are :D

I gave it a perfect score because I cannot suggest any improvements.

If you are interested in the topic, I highly recommend this course!
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Here are some notes I made throughout the course which I would like to share in order to improve the experience for future students:

1. For all the YouTube videos we were instructed to watch, there was no way to click on the link. I had to pause the video and manually type each URL into a new tab. A link embedded somewhere in the course (maybe the transcript) would have been much easier.

2. It was difficult to answer some of the pop-up questions which required that information from the slides, but the slides were covered by the pop-up, which made it impossible to both answer the question and see the necessary information.

3. At times, it was difficult to follow the information, as the lecturer jumped back and forth between slides, or his image was in front (therefore blocking) information on the slide.

Thank you!
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
As an animal scientist, I did not have much experience with computational social science. But with this course, I know feel like I have a good foundation and understanding of concepts from agent based modeling to natural language processing. I thought I would struggle through the material given my background. However, that was not the case. The professors do an outstanding job of presenting information that is not too technical. So even though we went through a lot material, it never felt too dense or overwhelming. I also really like how the videos kept you engaged with questions. Moreover, the professors seem very passionate about their work and that makes the topics even more fascinating and engaging. I really enjoyed the course and look forward to learning more about computational social science.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I have completed two specialisations and taking several other specialisations and courses on the Coursera platform and by far I enjoyed this specialisation the most.

Part of my enthusiasm comes from my background. I studied qualitative social science, specifically criminology, and the social sciences and humanities plays a huge foundation in my learning journey.

This course merges computer science with social science and I found it very fascinating. Hilbert is a very good tutor who explains concepts in a clear and precise manner. His enthusiasm in teaching this class is extraordinary and I hope he launched more MOOC in the future!

I have learnt much during this course and I hope future or prospective students would enjoy this course as much as I do!
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I took this course during my sophomore year and it has the most inspiring lectures and course materials that assisted me in my decision on what I want to do in the future. It gave a brief introduction to programming and digital technology, which was a lot of new information for me as a sophomore. But I liked learning about them (I'm interested in this field). Moreover, in the later courses that I took, I came by quite many materials that I learned in this course (Computational Social Science). I would definitely recommend taking this course if you are interested in this field or want to learn about it!
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Thank you. I really enjoyed the course. It gave me a good general overview of social network analysis, and now I know how to proceed with more in-depth studies. From the course I’ve managed to get a grasp of both practice and theory. It is definitely a very good introduction, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in social science reasearch. Regardless of whether you need this for your analysis, I believe it is useful to understand the concepts and developments in this developing field. It will give you a good sense of its applications and usefulness in research.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I took this course with Professor Hilbert when it was being taught as a UC wide course and found it immensely interesting. This was my first exposure to any sort of computer programming as well as to any form of computational application of social science and I found it easy to follow along and learn. Overall I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is interested in learning more about the applications of computer science in a humanities field.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
It a quick, complete, and excellent introductory course. Martin Hilbert has put his heart, mind, and profound knowledge at our fingertips in our behalf, thanks you! Stimulating and will follow up looking at how to uncover social networks in rural Honduras, formally analyze them and implement practical use for innovation and development. A much easier task with this first small step. Again thanks to all that make this possible.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
In my opinion, this course has the right balance of computational with socio-ethical. Every time a new type of technology is introduced, the videos also take care to explain its uses, its downsides, etc. I felt like the labs helped me better understand what broad and complex topics like NLP, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence is. If you're considering taking this course, do it!
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Maricela R
Maricela completed this course.


It was a great experience, for a beginner like me, now having all that theory and concepts has given new knowledge to my skills in the professional area.

To be able to graph the world of social networks, capture them and make them in some tangible way to study them and give them not only an interpretation, but to use them with certain objectives.

I will definitely continue the next course.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Excellent course for the people interested in Social Network Analysis. It doesn't need much prerequisite. Learned Gephi tool and using it now. One concern which I like to share, it will be helpful if there was one tutorial on the another tool Netlogo. But for theoretically content is excellent. Looking forward for some more courses on Dynamic network analysis.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
It was very interesting. Only superficial of SNA was known to me. Thanks to the Professor Martin Hilbert, I enjoyed to learn the concepts deeply and with examples and quizzes. Simulation was very effective to explain. Mostly I like the benefit calculation part. In future, like to join the course of Professor Martin Hilbert.
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