Random Walk is the Oxford Q-Step Centre Blog, with entries written by a range of professionals on a range of subjects within quantitative methods.Keep checking back for updated entries, and don't forget to let us know what you think in the comments section!
Professor Andrea Ruggeri has written two articles for a new special issue published by the International Peacekeeping journal and edited by Govinda Clayton on data about peacekeeping operations. Remco Zwetsloot, a former department MPhil IR student now at Yale, co-authored one of these articles.
Joe Twyman, Head of Political and Social Research at YouGov, is giving a Q-Step lecture on Friday 4 November at 4pm at the DPIR. He will consider the post-EU Referendum upheaval in British politics, the background to the result and details of the divisions within the electorate that are highlighted in the data. Joe Twyman is a founding director of YouGov. As well as directing YouGov's UK General Election projects, he has co-ordinated election studies in a range of other countries, including Afghanistan. He is a regular political commentator on TV and radio.
Q-Step students who are taking part in an OQC-funding internship (or who completed one last year) are invited to take part in an international conference - 'Rediscovering Inequalities' - hosted by the Applied Quantitative Methods Network at the University of Edinburgh from Wednesday 26 - Thursday 27 October. Students would be expected to produce and present a poster to showcase their work placement project. Five bursaries of up to £300 towards travel and accommodation in Edinburgh will be awarded. The deadline for applications is Monday 1 August at midnight.
Alex Williams (Lincoln) has been awarded the 2016 prize for his essay on 'Does Consensus Democracy Improve Economic Outcomes?' Judges, Professor Andy Eggers and Professor Robin Harding, made the following comment about Alex's work.
"This essay concisely develops a theoretical argument that draws on the literature on veto players, complements Lijphart's dataset with extra variables that permit an empirical assessment of the argument, and clearly presents the results with a combination of well-designed tables and figures."
Honourable mentions go to:
Harveen Judge (Keble) - "An impressive essay that compactly assesses four 'recalibrations' of Lijphart's analysis to address issues of case selection and measurement."
Lukas Leitner (LMH) - "A careful and highly thoughtful essay."
Khoo Wu Shaun (Regent's Park) - "An essay distinguished by well-supported empirical claims and very clear presentation."
Thank you to all entrants.
Oxford Q-Step Centre's first Summer Institute at the Department of Politics & International Relations has been a huge success. Undergraduates from universities across the United Kingdom came to Oxford for a week-long residential course to introduce them to Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences. Through a series of lectures and data labs, the students learned how to use statistical modelling to back up theoretical statements. They came away with a new set of much sought-after data skills, which they can apply to their degree courses and beyond university. Teaching took place in the Department of Politics & International Relations, and accommodation was provided at Lady Margaret Hall. Evenings were free for socialising and enjoying Oxford in the summer.
Oxford Q-Step Centre and Oxford Pathways have launched an exciting new opportunity for Year 11 school students to explore what Social Sciences at Oxford can offer them. The 'Investigating Social Sciences' day is open to state school pupils from across the UK, and will take place at Exeter College, Oxford on Saturuday 16 July 2016.
First year Q-Step undergraduates ... OQC is offering a prize of £200 for the best Political Analysis essay as your end of course assessment. It's a opportunity to display your quantitative methods skills in an original piece of work. The deadline is Tuesday 3 May Week 2 Trinity Term. Full details are available on WebLearn
Want to develop your quantitative methods skills in the work place? Oxford's Q-Step Centre is offering Internship Awards of up to £1,500 for undergraduates via the Oxford University Internship Programme. Demos, YouGov, Citizens' Advice West Oxfordshire and the Mount Stuart Trust on the Isle of Bute are offering exciting opportunities which are particularly relevant to first year students who have studied the Q-Step module. Full details are available on CareerConnect . The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 13 March.
Our students are learning a lot about how academic research works, but they would benefit immensely from the opportunity to apply these skills outside of the university. Can you think of ways our data-savvy students could help you in your professional life?
This workshop organised by the Oxford Q-Step Centre* (OQC) brings together key speakers from Oxford and beyond to discuss gender differences in examinations in the context of courses that include quantitative methods.
Calling all Oxford Q-Step students! We have one exciting, paid internship on offer at the beautiful Cotswold home of innovative 19th century designer William Morris working on a project designed to help improve your quantitative analysis skills and gain pratical experience.
Curious about Big Data & Social Media? Come along to our talk this Thursday to learn more...
In this seminar we review the basic principles of text analysis in the context opinion mining of social media data, i.e. the case where the signal to noise ratio is usually low. After a brief excursus on different techniques of text analysis we present in details one specific approach called "ReadMe", due to Hopkins and King (2010). This technique has proven to be highly efficient in the context of social media analysis. Contrary to all other methods, the ReadMe approach focuses on the estimation of the aggregated distribution of the opinions rather than individual classification of texts. This allows for great accuracy in the final estimation at the cost of loosing individual classification properties, but this is not a real issues in social science research as we will show through several examples.
See here for tickets and more information: http://www.politics.ox.ac.uk/departmental/twitter-big-data-and-and-social-science.html
This year we launch the Oxford Q-Step Centre (OQC) and its blog Random Walk. This first blog post introduces the philosophy and activities of the Centre. OQC's main goal is to give students the tools to turn data into information, and information into insight. Here are some thoughts about why and how we will do it.