4 & 5 October 2019 - Friday from 12:15, Saturday from 9:00 | This block course provides a basic introduction to big data and corresponding quantitative research methods. The objective of the course is to familiarize students with big data analysis as a tool for addressing substantive problems. The course begins with a basic introduction to big data and discusses what the analysis of these data entails, as well as associated technical, conceptual and ethical challenges. Strength and limitations of big data research are discussed in depth using real-world examples. Students then engage in case study exercises in which small groups of students develop and present a big data concept for a specific real-world case. These exercises are designed to familiarize students with the format of big data and to gain a first, hands-on experience with potential applications for large, complex data in policy-relevant settings. The block course is designed as a primer for anyone interested in attaining a basic understanding of what big data analysis entails and does not entail technical training for scripting etc. There are no prerequisite requirements for this course. Note that the course is offered in two separate sessions in two subsequent weeks: Oct. 4/5 and Oct. 18/19. Please ensure that you are attending the session you are registered for! The exact times for the individual classes may be found in the course schedule below.