Big Data Textual Analysis in Communication Research and Practices

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Online: 
No
Subject Area: 
Course Number: 
COMM 247 920
Instructor: 

WALTER, DROR

YANG, SIJIA

Primary Program: 
Syllabus: 
Course Description: 

New textual traces of human activities are being added every second to the ever-growing data available online. At the frontiers of social science research, as well as major industries outside of the academia, computational textual analytics are becoming a necessary tool for cracking the “big data” challenges and turning the gigantic “hairball” of words into insights about human nature and behavior. Analyzing various texts - from rap lyrics, to Lord of the Rings, to Amazon reviews or Donald Trump tweets - the goal of this course is to introduce students to user-friendly methods and text mining tools developed in the statistical programming language R, targeting students in both humanities and social science and with no previous advanced mathematics and programming knowledge. Additionally, students will gain hands-on experience with scraping, pre-processing, topic-modeling, sentiment analysis and machine-learning, analyzing current and exciting databases, from song lyrics to news to political candidates’ social media; tools, we hope, will prove valuable to students in their academic work as well as in careers outside of academia.

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