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Text Analysis Working Group

Come Learn with Us!



The Text Analysis Working Group is a group of Northwestern students, postdocs, faculty, and staff who meet regularly to learn computational text analysis skills together.  Our core membership is from the social sciences, but participants from all fields are welcome.

What We Do

We have two types of meetings:

  • Coding Practice Sessions: Working from a text analysis task that a group member would like to learn to do, a leader helps guide the group through writing Python and/or R code to accomplish the task.  This isn’t a structured workshop; we learn along the way together.  Topics include web scraping, extracting information from HTML, using regular expressions to extract data from unstructured text, processing text for analysis, computing word counts, topic analysis, and more.
  • Reading and Discussion Group: We choose 1 or 2 articles or other items about text processing methods, algorithmic bias, ethics of text analysis and studies of web data, and other related topics to read and discuss for each meeting.  This is a chance to put our work in context, learn about how new methods are being applied, and keep up to date on good work in our fields.

The coding practice sessions assume that you are comfortable enough with R or Python (as appropriate) to follow along, read documentation, install new packages, read and write files, and write functions and loops.  We have members of all experience levels, and we aim to learn in part by helping others.

Join Us

To be notified of upcoming meetings and stay up to date with the group

Subscribe to our email listserv