Please Contact:

Kitty MacKenzie
BDSS-IGERT Project Coordinator

Program Details

BDSS-IGERT is a collaboration of the social, computational, statistical, and visual sciences. For more information or to talk with someone about the program, connect here.

As part of the BDSS-IGERT traineeship, IGERT Trainees will engage in a full disciplinary PhD program in one of the areas listed above, as well as in multidisciplinary curriculum that spans these areas.

In additional to curriculum requirements, BDSS-IGERT students are engaged in a wide variety of noncurricular training opportunities, including workshops, conferences, and multiple short-term and long-term research challenges, interdisciplinary research rotations on campusand summer externships away from campus in private industry, government, non-profit groups/labs or in academic research settings. 

Social Data Analytics at Penn State University 

The curricular requirements of BDSS-IGERT correspond to those of the new Social Data Analytics dual-title PhD. It is briefly summarized below, with greater detail provided here

The curriculum includes:

Core seminars for all IGERT Students.

  • Approaches and Issues in Big Social Data
  • Approaches and Issues in Social Data Analytics

Analytics distribution, one course in a core approach to analytics:
statistical / machine learning or visual analytics. Examples:

  • Data Mining (STAT/IST)
  • Machine Learning (CSE)
  • Visual Analytics: Leveraging Geosocial Data (GEOG)

Social Data Analytics approved electives, collectively meeting minimum cross-disciplinary distribution requirements in social science, computational science, informational science, statistical science, visual analytics and ethics and scientific responsibility; examples:

  • Vision-Based Tracking (CSE)
  • Computational Regularity on Interdisciplinary, Large Data Sets (CSE)
  • Pattern Recognition (CSE)
  • Information Retrieval and Organization (IST)
  • Web Analytics (IST)
  • Spatial Analysis (GEOG)
  • Most graduate courses in Statistics
  • Political Event Data and Forecasting (PLSC)
  • Social Network Analysis (SOC)
  • Causal Inference (PLSC)
  • Democratic Representation: Big Data Approaches (PLSC)
  • Multilevel Modeling (SOC)
  • Spatial Demography (SOC)
  • Intensive Longitudinal Data (HDFS)
  • Privacy in Statistical Databases (STAT/CSE)
  • Data Privacy, Learning, and Games (CSE)
  • Big Social Data and the Law (PLSC/CLJ)
  • The Information Environment (IST)

BDSS-IGERT students must be admitted to a participating Penn State PhD program:

Statistics, Computer Science & Engineering, Information Sciences & Technology, Geography, a participating social science department in the College of Liberal Arts (Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Communication Arts & Sciences) or the College of Health & Human Development (Human Development & Family Studies, Health Policy & Administration). Students in the dual-title degree in Demography, regardless of home department, are also eligible. BDSS-IGERT is, for most departments, a program taken up in the second and third year of the PhD program. (For programs that admit directly to a Masters, they might take up IGERT in years one and two of the PhD; there may be other exceptions.)

Please contact to receive further information.