Formal requirements

Last updated: October 16, 2020


Your grade will be calculated as follows:

  • 10% Attendance and participation in class. Attendance will be recorded each week.
  • 18% Reading responses and peer reviews.
  • 22% Leading topic presentation and discussion in class.
  • 50% Project.

Attendance and participation (10%)

Attendance and participation in class are mandatory. Attendance will be recorded weekly. Points will be deducted for missing three or more classes without prior notice. Attendance is mandatory in weeks 5, 12, and 13 where project proposal and presentations will take place.

Reading responses and peer reviews (18%)

The required readings for each class are listed under the Schedule page. You will need to submit on Moodle reading responses, in English, prior to each class (roughly 1-2 pages). Responses are due at midnight before each class. By Friday after each class you are required to complete peer review of a few of your classmates responses, including (constructive) feedback and a grade. The class instructor will participate in grading as well as auditing the peer review process.

Unless specified otherwise on the response task in Moodle, you are asked to answer three questions about the assigned reading:

  • What are the main contributions?
  • What are the major weakness, and how could they be improved?
  • What are some of the promising research questions, and how could they be pursued?

The guidelines for peer grading are as follows:

  • 90-100 Student provided a truly exceptional response that thoroughly covered all the required points and went above and beyond the requirement. This includes, but not limited to, reading additional papers, reflecting on the the issues at hand in-depth, providing thought-provoking comments, and writing in a clear and eloquent manner.
  • 80-89 Student provided high-quality response that covered all of the main points.
  • 65-79 Student provided a response that covers some of the main points but not all, reflecting partial understanding of the readings, writing insufficiently short response, or providing low quality text.
  • 0-64 Student did not submit a response, provided extremely short response, covered only 1-2 of the main issues, did not understand key points.

Topic presentation (22%)

Each week one or more groups of students will be in charge of leading the discussion of a topic. The additional readings listed under the Schedule for that week will provide the necessary materials for you to cover during class. Your grade will be based on the clarity and depth of knowledge you exhibit while presenting the topic to the class as well as your ability to engage the other students in discussion. You will have no more than 50 minutes at your disposal, and you are encouraged to use this time in the most creative and educating manner you see fit. Assignment to groups and topics will be conducted after the first class.

Project (50%)

Students need to take on individual projects, ideally ones that excite and challenge them, and contribute to their master thesis. The project needs to formulate and properly support one computational social science research question (or specific hypothesis), collect data that demonstrates the ability to answer that question, outline methodology for answering it, and define a metric for success. Notice that you are not required to answer the actual research question, nor are you required to provide any preliminary results (even though that would earn you extra points). The focus is solely on your ability to substantiate a research question in CSS and demonstrate the viability of answering it with data and computational tools in a reasonable manner.

Proposal: On week #5, you will have to deliver a 5-minutes pitch of your project. Make sure that your pitch describes the importance of the problem you’d like to tackle, its potential contribution/s, three or more lines of related work, and the data and methodology that will be needed for answering it. Your peers will rank the proposals (anonymously), and the top ranked proposals will earn 1, 2, or 3 points in the final grade. Other than that, proposals will not be graded.

Final presentation (20%): 15-20 minutes presentation, delivered on week #12 or #13.

Report (30%): Up to 4 pages (excluding references) following the ACM guidelines and template and submitted as a pdf via email to the class instrcutor with the subject “SISE.5351 Final report: [Your full name here] [Your ID here]”. Submission is due by Friday of week #13.