Past Events By Date

Transforming Relationships through Face-to-Face Diplomacy: Discussion, Book Launch & Signing

Date: Thursday, September 13th, 2018

Time: 5:00-6:00pm

An Evening with Marcus Holmes and Nicholas Wheeler

A Facebook AMA with SSRMC Co-Directors Marcus Holmes and Jaime Settle

Date: April 10, 2018

Time: 4:30pm-5:00pm

How do I get involved in research as a social science major? How do I apply to graduate school for political science? How can I combine my passions for statistics and politics? If you’ve ever found yourself pondering these questions or something like them, check out the SSRMC’s Facebook live “ask me anything” with SSRMC co-directors Professor Holmes and Professor Settle on Tuesday, April 10, from 4:30-5 pm. For the first time in SSRMC history, our co-directors will be taking questions in a video live stream to help you figure out your path forward. Simply log on to Facebook at any point between 4:30 and 5 pm, find us here, and post your question in the comment section on the live stream. This event will help us kick off our One Tribe, One Day festivities!

Out of Left Field: A Roundtable on Surprises and Successes in Field Research

Date: April 10, 2018

Time: 5:00pm-6:00pm

In celebration of One Tribe, One Day, come out to the SSRMC’s roundtable conversation on field research in the social sciences! Government professors S.P. Harish and Dan Maliniak and Interdisplinary Studies professor Tyler Frazier will be discussing their experiences doing fieldwork. They have been involved in fascinating research all over the world, and they have some great advice and interesting stories about their challenges and successes to share with us. If you’re planning on doing research or writing a thesis in the coming years, this event will be perfect for you! The panel discussion will be moderated by SSRMC co-director Marcus Holmes. We will be live streaming the event on our Facebook page, so you can join us from near or far.

While you’re at it, check out our fundraising page here and consider supporting us in our efforts to make social science accessible to the W&M campus. To make a donation, click on the link, scroll down and hit the “search” tab, and look up “Social Science Research Methods Center.” We would appreciate your support!

SSRMC Student Research Showcase, April 18

Date: April 18, 2018

Come by the SSRMC’s student research showcase to hear from our student researchers about their work.

SSRMC Barbecue

Date: April 23, 2018

Time: 5:30pm-7:00pm

Professor Settle will be hosting a barbecue for SSRMC faculty and student affiliates to celebrate the end of the semester. For Professor Settle’s address, please email Carlson ’14 Methods Workshop: Programming, Fielding, and Analyzing Surveys—An Introduction to Qualtrics, Mechanical Turk, and R Markdown

A workshop by Taylor Carlson, a W&M Alumni who is pursuing a PhD in Political Science from UCSD.

Date: March 21, 2018

Time: 3:30pm-5:00pm

In this workshop, students will learn some more advanced programming options in the survey software Qualtrics. We will focus on features such as embedded data, randomization, and time trackers. Next, students will learn how to field surveys on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.  We will also discuss other cost-effective data collection options. Finally, the workshop will conclude with an introduction to R Markdown, which allows researchers to analyze data, generate tables and figures, and write up comments and analysis all in one program. With R Markdown, researchers can generate organized, visually appealing data reports with the click of a button. To make the most of our time, students should have R Studio and LaTeX installed on their computers. You can install LaTeX here:, install the free R Studio here:, and install R here Students should also have a Qualtrics account. If you don’t already have one, you can follow the instructions here:

Raft Debate

Date: March 15, 2018

Time: 6:30pm

Come out to Commonwealth to watch the SSMRC’s Professor Settle represent the social sciences in this year’s Raft Debate! Professor Settle will take on faculty representatives of the humanities and natural and computational sciences to save the social sciences from an perishing on an onstage desert island. More information can be found here.

Drew Engelhardt Methods Workshop on Survey Measure Creation and Validation

Date: March 16, 2018

Time: 2:00-3:30pm

Have you ever wanted to create a measure of political ideology or figure out if a series of questions asked in a survey really measures an underlying opinion? If you have, join us for the second installment of the SSRMC Alumni Methods Talks with Drew Engelhardt. Drew graduated from William & Mary with a degree in Government in 2013 and is an alumnus of the SNaPP Lab. Currently, he is working towards a Ph.D in political science from Vanderbilt. In this workshop, he will provide an introduction to factor analysis and item response modeling as approaches to answering these and many other related questions. During the workshop, participants will learn what these approaches are and how to implement them in the R statistical program by developing a political knowledge test. Participants should have a basic knowledge of R syntax and have installed R/RStudio on their computers before the workshop.

Data Analytics in Consulting: A Talk with Practitioners from Deloitte’s Federal Consulting Branch

Date: February 28, 2018

Time: 4:00pm

Have you ever wondered where your degree can take you? Curious how you can apply your interests in science, research, and data analytics to the professional world? Join practitioners from Deloitte’s Federal Consulting practice for a presentation and discussion about how data analytics are helping government agencies tackle some of today’s most significant public sector challenges.

Data Science Faculty Panel and Interest Session

Date: January 30, 2018

Time: 5:30-7:00pm

Are you interested in the data science major or in learning about what a data science research lab entails? Then come join the WMASA-Data Science club next Tuesday January 30th for a Data Science faculty panel and networking session from 5:30-7 pm in ISC 1127! Professors Jaime Settle, Daniel Runfola, Daniel Parker and Zhenming Liu will be describing their research, how they choose research assistants, and aspects of the data science minor. Seniors looking to graduate can also learn about the field of data science itself and how it is distinct from computer science and applied math. Get to know the professors with pizza and beverages after the panel! Hope to see you all there. All academic years are welcome. The Facebook page for the event is here.


SNaPP Lab Presents: Make the State of the Union Great Again

Date: January 30, 2018

Time: 8:45-10:30pm

Come out and join the SNaPP Lab on Tuesday (1/31) at 8:45 pm to watch the State of the Union Address live in Tucker 127a! The SNaPP Lab just received a set of the same dials CNN uses to gauge audience response in its focus groups. Students who come to the watch party will get to use them to provide real-time feedback on how they feel about the speech. SNACKS WILL BE PROVIDED!!! Check out the Facebook page for the event here.

Webscraping in R for Research, Profit, and Fun!

Date: November 30, 2017

Time: 4:00-5:30pm
This workshop will cover the process of data-gathering from the web by scraping pages using the free open-source program R. Over the course of the workshop, participants will learn how to scrape online data in tabular, text, and PDF form, as well as how to use R to interface with basic APIs. Within this, the workshop will also cover basics of using regular expressions, Xpath, and Selenium – all within R. Participants should have a basic knowledge of how to read tabular data into R and have installed R/RStudio on their computers before the workshop.

Roundtable Debate: The Use and Abuse of Evidence in Social Science

Date: November 8, 2017

Time: 4:00-5:00pm

We use “evidence” all the time. We use it to support our opinions in casual conversation (“here is why I didn’t like this movie”) and in formal academic arguments (“this is the data I am going to use to show my theory is correct”). Yet, we rarely consider what constitutes “evidence” or what evidence is appropriate for a given argument. In this panel debate, Professor Kaplow and Professor McKinney of the Government department will discuss what evidence means to them and how they use it in their work. In their conversation, they will debate the proper uses of empirical data in social science research. They will also discuss what evidence looks like in arguments that often do not rely on empirical data, such as those made in some areas of political theory and political philosophy.

Movie Showing: Experimenter, October 19, 7-9 pm, ISC 1127

Date: October 19, 2017

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Place: ISC 1127

Come out to a showing of the 2015 film Experimenter, directed by Michael Almereyda and starring Peter Sarsgaard and Taryn Manning. The movie focuses on the life and controversial experiments of Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist who studied how and why people obey authority figures. The film raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of psychological experiments, the role of institutions in regulating these endeavors, and the motivations of the psychologists who conduct them. There will be popcorn!

Can Constitutional Democracy Survive Presidential Scandal?: A Lecture with Stanley Brand

Date: October 9, 2017

Time: 4:00pm – 5:15pm

Place: Blair 205

Stanley Brand of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, & Feld LLP will be holding a discussion followed by a Q&A session on presidential scandals and American constitutional democracy. The lecture will include a discussion of the historic role of and legal foundations of the independent counsel office as well as the separation of powers issues inherent in the analysis of the lasting consequences of presidential scandal. Mr. Brand’s practice covers all levels of state and federal courts, with an emphasis on defending the rights of witnesses involved in government investigations. He has represented numerous individuals and organizations investigated by and/or called to testify before the U.S. Congress. You can read more about his work here.

GOVT 301 Research Methods Open House

Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Place: Social Science Research Methods Center

There will presentations from the SSRMC student staff, PPIR, SNaPP, and STAIR labs. Also, refreshments like coffee and donuts will be provided!

Photos from the Event:

Measurement in Political Science

Date: Thursday, February 9, 2017

Time: 3:30pm

Place: Tyler 134

What is democracy and how do we measure it? How do you write survey questions that capture the psychological processes inside someone’s head? If text or speech comprise your data, how do you recognize when different people make reference to the same underlying concept? Conceptualizing and measuring constructs are two of the most important aspects of research design. In this roundtable on February 9th, we’ll hear perspectives from faculty who use a variety of different methodological approaches on how they approach operationalization and measurement in their research. If you have questions that you’d like to hear the panelists discuss, please contact Hannah Gourdie (


Stuart Soroka Lecture

Stuart SorokaDate: Thursday, November 10, 2016

Time: 5:00pm

Place: TBA

Stuart Soroka will be hosting a talk at 5:00 PM. Soroka is a professor at the University of Michigan who focuses on political communication and the dynamic between voters and mass media.  He studies both Political Science and Communications, and some of his more recent research centers on negativity in American politics (a particularly salient issue this election cycle). All are encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Professor Settle.

John Ault Lunch Lecture

John AultDate: Monday, November 7, 2016

Time: 1:30pm

Place: SSRMC

John Ault will be hosting a Lunch Lecture event at 12:30 PM in the SSRMC basement. Every Presidential election cycle, Ault and a team of students travel from England to observe our elections and report on the status of them. As a former British politician and Chair of Electoral Reform Society, he should have a wealth of insight into both the election practices of Britain and America as well as commentary about what might differentiate one election cycle from another. For more information, please contact Hannah Gourdie.

Judith Baroody Event

Judy BaroodyDate: Friday, October 28, 2016

Time: 2:00-3:30pm

Place: James Blair Hall 205

Facebook Event: Link

Judith Baroody will be conducting a talk/ question and answer session at 2pm in James Blair 205. As executive director of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (an online resource that archives interviews and primary documents associated with U.S. diplomatic initiatives), Baroody has great insight into diplomatic initiatives in the world, and this event should interest International Relations majors and anyone looking to become involved with Foreign Service. With that being said, the event is open to everyone, and all who are interested are encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Professor Marcus Holmes.