Past Events By Date

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.


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