BIG DATA IN IMMIGRATION RESEARCH
with Christopher Antoun (Univ. of Maryland) and Florian Keusch (Univ. of Mannheim)
SURV 699C (2 credits)
Partner Institution: University of Mannheim, Germany
ABOUT THIS COURSE
The growing complexity of human mobility and the integration of immigrants into host societies has created an increased need for reliable and timely data to inform policy development and humanitarian assistance. Data from traditional sources (e.g., national population censuses, sample surveys, and administrative sources) on migration and immigration are limited in quantity and quality, and new alternatives have recently emerged. Some of these new types of “Big Data” are particularly promising for the study of migration-related phenomena. These include mobile phone call logs, Internet activity (e.g., Google searches, tracking of online media content use), geo-referenced social media activity, and other passively collected (mobile) data.
This course will introduce you to the practice of using Big Data for social science research. The course brings together UMD students and students from the University of Mannheim in Germany using digital technology. Students will work in groups to complete a project involving the data collection and analysis of Big Data to answer an immigration-related research question.
This course is international because students from the two partnering universities will virtually attend the same class/lecture using video conferencing.
This course is project-based and applied because students will work in groups to formulate and answer research questions involving real-world challenges. Students will be grouped together so that their experience and knowledge levels on Big Data, immigration research, and project management will complement each other. Groups will be able to communicate and coordinate their activities via online tools (Zoom, Slack).
The work on the project will mirror the type of work that the students can expect to be exposed to after graduation, that is, project-based, facilitated by technology, and in an international context with people from diverse backgrounds. This course is part of the Global Classrooms Initiative at UMD.
Schedule: Feb. 14th - May 22nd, 2019.
Space is limited to 12 students at each university.