Symposium on Public Discourse and Data Science

Sponsored by KEY, SFU’s Big Data Initiative

Friday, October 12, 2018
9:00 am - 3 pm
SFU’s Big Data Hub


Researchers in the social sciences using data (big or small) that can be considered part of the public discourse: news media, social media, political discussion, legislative data, policy.
The goal of the symposium is to bring together researchers within Simon Fraser University (faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students), to share expertise and to explore collaborations.

To note

  • All talks take place in the Big Data Hub. ASB 10900 is the Presentation Studio. One of the break-out sessions will be in the Flexible Meeting Room. Coffee breaks and lunch will take place in the Atrium.
  • Please register through Eventbrite so that we can have accurate numbers for catering.
  • Follow this link for titles and abstracts for presentations.

Schedule (tentative)

9:00 - 9:30 Coffee & tea   Atrium
9:30 - 9:40
Opening Dugan O'Neil, Associate Vice-President Research
ASB 10900
9:40 - 10:10 Talk Laurel Weldon ASB 10900
10:10 - 10:40 Lightning talks Sarah Ganter
Maite Taboada & Vagrant Gautam
Mark Pickup
ASB 10900
10:40 - 11:00 Coffee break   Atrium
11:00 - 11:30 Talk Aaron Hoffmann ASB 10900
11:30 - 12:00 Lightning talks Alexander Beyer
John Richards
Milena Droumeva
ASB 10900
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch (provided)
1:00 - 1:30 Talks
Ahmed Al-Rawi
ASB 10900
1:30 - 2:00 Lightning talks Dave Campbell
Keshav Mukunda/Berenica Vejvoda
Rebecca Dowson
ASB 10900
2:00 - 3:00 Break-out session 1: tools and infrastructure
Facilitator: Keshav Mukunda/Nicole White
Flexible Meeting Room
Break-out session 2: collaborations and funding
Facilitator: Mark Pickup ASB 10900


Call for Submissions

Please send expressions of interest to give either a short or a lightning talk during the symposium to by October 1, 2018.
Proposal format: Name, affiliation at SFU, title, short abstract, short bio.
Include Proposal Submission: Symposium on October 12 in your subject line.


Sarah Ganter, Communication (
Mark Pickup, Political Science (
Maite Taboada, Linguistics (

Morning coffee and lunch will be provided. For catering purposes, please register through Eventbrite.

KEY, SFU’s Big Data Initiative empowers our faculty, staff and students to unlock big data for research, training and community impact. SFU is building on over a decade in leadership in the field to become the leading engaged university for big data innovation and data science excellence. We are expanding partnerships, advancing research excellence, and continually investing in infrastructure and expertise to provide value for the SFU community.