2 IC2S2'24 Philadelphia
Tutorial summary
MORNING SESSION: 9:00 am - 12:30 pm


Making Models We Can Understand: An Interactive Introduction to Interpretable Machine Learning

Our tutorial will guide participants through the practical aspects and hands-on experiences of using Large Language Models (LLMs) in Computational Social Science (CSS). In recent years, LLMs have emerged as powerful tools capable of executing a variety of language processing tasks in a zero-shot manner, without the need for task-specific training data. This capability presents a significant opportunity for the field of CSS, particularly in classifying complex social phenomena such as persuasiveness and political ideology, as well coding or explaining new social science constructs that are latent in text. This tutorial provides an in- depth overview on how LLMs can be used to enhance CSS research. First, we will provide a set of best practices for prompting LLMs, an essential skill for effectively harnessing their capabilities in a zero-shot context. This step of the talk assumes no prior background. We will explain how to select an appropriate model for the task, and how factors like model size and task complexity can help researchers anticipate model performance. To this end, we introduce an extensive evaluation pipeline, meticulously designed to assess the performance of different language models across diverse CSS benchmarks. By covering these results, we will show how CSS research can be broadened to a wider range of hypotheses than prior tools and data resources could support. Second, we will discuss some of the limitations with prompting as a methodology for certain measurement scales and data types, including ordinal data, and continuous distributions. This part will look more “under the hood” of a language model to outline challenges around decoding numeric tokens, probing model activations as well as intervening on model parameters. By the end of this session, attendees will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively integrate LLMs into their CSS research.

Chudi Zhong

Alina Jade Barnett

Harsh Parikh


New Approaches and Data Sources to Study Digital Media and Democracy

Sebastian Stier

Philipp Lorenz-Spreen

Lisa Oswald

David Lazer


Exploring Emerging Social Media: Acquiring, Processing, and Visualizing Data with Python and OSoMe Web Tools

Filipi Nascimento Silva

Kaicheng Yang

Bao Tran Truong

Wanying Zhao


Collecting Digital Trace Data Through Data Donation

Laura Boeschoten

Niek de Schipper







AFTERNOON SESSION: 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm



Training Computational Social Science Ph.D. Students for Academic and Non-Academic Careers

Jae Yeon Kim

Tiago Ventura

Aniket Kesari

Sono Shah

Tina Law


Using LLMs for Computational Social Science

Diyi Yang

Caleb Ziems

Niklas Stoehr


Thinking With Deep Learning: An Exposition Of Deep (Representation) Learning for Social Science Research

James Evans

Bhargav Srinivasa Desikan


Active Agents: An Active Inference Approach to Agent-Based Modeling in the Social Sciences

Andrew Pashea


The Dark Web: Harnessing the Platform for Social Science Research

Brady Lund