I am giddy with pleasure to share Jennifer Chayes’ announcement that Microsoft Research is opening a new lab in New York City that will be filled with computational social science types. The New England lab that I call home combines qualitative social science, empirical economics, machine learning, and mathematics. We’ve long noted the need for data science types who can bridge between us. And now, to my utter delight, a new lab is emerging to complement our lab. The folks who are going to serve as the founding members of the new NYC lab are computer scientists, physicists, experimental economists, and data scientists. Many of them are interested in social network analysis and big data problems but – or shall I say crucially – they all see the value in collaborating with ethnographers. In other words, we’re building a cross-lab team that’ll create new possible interdisciplinary collaborations that make my heart go pitter patter.
The new team will include Duncan Watts, David Pennock, John Langford, Jake Hofman, Dan Goldstein, Sid Suri, David Rothschild, and Sharad Goel. For the social scientists out there who were oohing and awing when we announced that MSR hired Nancy Baym, Kate Crawford, and Mary Gray, just imagine the amazing connections that can occur when you mix these computational social scientists and the great group of researchers we have at the Social Media Collective. ::giggle::bounce:: <evil grin>
Here’s to new relationships connected through Amtrak!
I’m having to study a lot of data analysis theory myself of late. Its something you can’t rush. Data analysis is never just following boring rules, I am discovering. There is a lot of insightful and reflective type thinking involved. I’m amazed though that it isn’t taught more to students, especially in an age of computers, design, problem solving. I am sure it would expand a lot of peoples horizons and analytical capabilities.
We are gathering data in frightening amounts today, but it simply sits there most of the time.
All the best, B.
It sounds brilliant! Really interesting!