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University of California, Davis

Computational Social Science

University of California, Davis via Coursera Specialization


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.


Course 1: Computational Social Science Methods
- Offered by University of California, Davis. This course gives you an overview of the current opportunities and the omnipresent reach of ... Enroll for free.

Course 2: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Ethics
- Offered by University of California, Davis. This course gives you context and first-hand experience with the two major catalyzers of the ... Enroll for free.

Course 3: Social Network Analysis
- Offered by University of California, Davis. This course is designed to quite literally ‘make a science’ out of something at the heart of ... Enroll for free.

Course 4: Computer Simulations
- Offered by University of California, Davis. Big data and artificial intelligence get most of the press about computational social science, ... Enroll for free.

Course 5: Computational Social Science Capstone Project
- Offered by University of California, Davis. CONGRATULATIONS! Not only did you accomplish to finish our intellectual tour de force, but, by ... Enroll for free.


Taught by

Martin Hilbert

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4.8 rating, based on 82 reviews

Start your review of Computational Social Science

  • Profile image for Minjoo Lee
    Minjoo Lee

    Minjoo Lee 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Anonymous
    Overall, a very(!!) interesting field and Prof Hilbert is a great speaker and teacher. I wish, I could take more classes with him.

    Althrough, the course presentation lack of polishing many times, as there are non-cutted out outtakes here and there. Also, the peer-review assignments are questionable for a specilization, which is such niche.

    Nevertheless, I had my fun in the last weeks and learned a lot, thanks!
  • Anonymous
    Thank you, Martin and all the instructors that designed this specialization. I couldn't afford to take the courses otherwise and am glad that you have offered the opportunity to learn all of this online. The specialization had a very interesting content and I enjoyed the assignmens. It's a good introduction to computational social sciences and I hope ty o take it further from here. All best!
  • 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.
  • Anonymous
    I consider the course is very useful, I hope I can learn deeper knowledge about complex network with more mathematical fashion.
  • Hank
    Thank you very much for putting these high quality courses online. Especially, the courses were break down to small pieces so it become easy to understand. Also the courses are not too hard nor too easy. It provides support to the learners to reach the low hanging fruit of computational social science. In general, very inspiring journey for me!
  • Anonymous
    By far one of the best online courses I have done so far, all the topics addressed can be put into practice, they give you tools so you can start or complement a new area of study, excellent course. Thank you Professor Martin Hilbert for bringing together this excellent group of specialists who showed us part of his research.
  • Anonymous
    I found this course on social network analysis very interesting. I do not work in the field of social science but found the concepts presented here enlightening. The presentation was well organized and though this was recorded Professor Hilbert kept my attention.
  • Profile image for François Disch
    François Disch
    Great teacher, good fun to learn. It is indeed high-level as repeated several time, and the quizzes / assignment aren't too challenging. good to get an overview of the network analysis topic and then home in to a more specific subtopic.
  • 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.
  • Anonymous
    I loved the way the course was presented, loads of info to absorb but also loads of interesting homework to do. I learned a lot and hope to follow some in-depth courses in the future. I highly recommend this introduction.
  • 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!

  • Anonymous
    Social network analysis course a really great!

    All lectures, examples, applications, quick quizes, test were very beneficial to study this topic. Thank you very much !
  • Anonymous
    I was keen on social network analysis and I was hoping to learn some theory. To have hands-on activities go beyond my expectations.

    excellent course :)
  • Anonymous
    I loved doing hands-on work with Gephy! I even scraped my own data. I am excited to see how can I apply this to my own research!
  • 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!
  • Anonymous
    The Computation Social Science series was excellent! I enjoyed all of the individual subjects and appreciated the way the entire series was put together. The professor was fantastic. His knowledge was evident from the beginning, but even more helpful was his enthusiasm for the material and for helping learners. It is hard to be effective online. Martin's approach and style made the course one of the best online or live I have participated in.
    I learned a lot. I have a social science background but the computational part was new -- I now feel prepared to dive deeper into the computation side of things and will certainly continue my studies in this way
    Thank you for an excellent experience!
  • Anonymous
    understanding technologies such as artificial intelligence , big data , machine learning and computer simulation from the prospective of social scientists was very effective and exciting . I learned about two fields ( my interest was the technologies ) but the gain was huge to me .

    social issues and challenges faced but different culture and societies were always on my mind. this course bring a methodology of testing and compiling a semi acceptable theories in any field of interest without the expenses and lengthy time to conduct research.

    i recommend this course to everyone

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