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Summer Course

Digital Methods Summer School

Every year, the Digital Methods Initiative organises an intensive summer course in which students learn and develop internet research techniques for studying societal conditions and cultural change.

Digital Methods Initiative

During the Digital Methods Initiative (DMI) Summer School, participants actively engage in empirical research projects, employing web-specific software tools, such as scrapers and crawlers. The course concludes with an event at which the research projects are presented. 

Machine bias and search engine critiques

The 2018 Digital Methods Summer School is devoted to approaches to studying so-called machine bias. Recent debates have focused on how to hold algorithms accountable for discrimination in their outputting of results, such as in the notorious cases of query results for ‘professional hair’ (white women’s hairdo’s) and ‘unprofessional hair’ (black womens’ hair-do’s). This is a variation on classic, and still urgent, search engine critiques (once known as ‘googlearchies’) which questioned the hierarchies built into rankings, asking who is being authorised by the engine to provide the information. That work moves forward at the Summer School, building on examinations of the volatility of engine results. 

A conceptual approach

The Digital Methods Summer School is interested in contributing not only to interpretations of celebrated cases of algorithmic or machine bias, but also providing diagnostic, query-related, research account and corpus-building research practices that seek to address the matter more conceptually.

More information

For more information on the summer course see the website of the Digital Methods Initiative:

DIgital Methods Initiative

Course dates:

July 2019

Application deadline:

May 2019
Apply early to ensure your participation

Academic director: Prof. Richard Rogers
Credits: 6 ECTS / Certificate of Completion
Tuition fee in 2018:

€ 895
UvA Master's and Research Master's students are exempted from paying the UvA fee

Applicants: Open to all applicants MA level and up, incl PhD candidates and motivated scholars as well as practitioners.
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Digital Methods Summer School
Mode Short-term
Credits 6 ECTS, 2 weeks
Language of instruction English
Starts in July