A perennial challenge for the D-Lab is how to target our trainings. We are aware of a great unmet need for training social scientists, especially graduate students, in learning basic technical skills. We are always looking for ways to make our trainings more accessible and inclusive.

At the same time, as Berkeley's training offerings mature and begin to keep pace with the scientific and technical innovation going on all around us, we need to provide for a different kind of student. How can we help the researcher who has the basic skills they need—or, more importantly, how can we support the skill of learning new skills? These researchers need a supportive community for their technically demanding and intellectually substantive research.

This is how we are positioning our newest working group, Social Computing. While we are targeting this group to those with some technical confidence, we are still open to all and embody the D-Lab's "It's OK Not To Know" principle. Our meetings will be more collaborative than authoritative, more conversational than presentational.

We invite researchers to present their work-in-progress. Wow us with your cool project, but also come to us with questions. Modeled in part on Coye Cheshire's Doctoral Research and Theory Workshop in the School of Information, this format is designed to get great minds to think together about the technical obstacles we face in our research day to day.

Though we target social scientists, we are meeting to discuss our messy, technical, and often undisciplinary work. Whether you study brains or words or money or social movements, we hope you'll check us out and share your know-how.

If this sounds like the right working group for you, please don't hesitate to sign up for our mailing list and check our agenda of upcoming meetings. We will be meeting every other Friday, starting this week on February 13th.


Sebastian Benthall

Sebastian Benthall is a PhD student at the School of Information.  He is interested in collective intelligence in an open collaborative setting, with a focus on open software development. He is also interested in the foundations and limits of data science.