CRMDA Workgroups

CRMDA "work groups" are voluntary study groups in which participants discuss their research projects. The Center is always open to the formation of new work groups. We can help group organizers to obtain space and advertise their activities.

Python Text Analysis

Time: Friday, 12PM (alternate weeks) Watson 410A, Digital Humanities Instruction Lab

Leader: Jonathan P. Lamb, CRMDA Faculty Fellow <>

This workgroup is designed for anyone who wants to learn digital text analysis and integrate it into their research (particularly humanities research). In the Fall semester, we will work through a series of Python tutorials to teach everyone the basics of digital text analysis. In the Spring semester, depending on the constitution of the group, we will work together to develop more advanced projects. Participants may use their own computers, or they may use loaners made available by the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities (IDRH). Please feel free to ask questions by sending an email to Jonathan Lamb <>.

At the current time, we expect full-group meetings to be held on 8/25, 9/8, 9/22, 10/6, 10/20, 11/3, 11/17, 12/1, while at 12PM on other dates there will be consultation & practice sessions.

Spatial Statistical Analysis

Time: Friday, 12PM (alterate weeks) Watson Library Room 455

Leader: Jacob Fowles, CRMDA Faculty Fellow <>

Spatial regression models have become increasingly popular across the social sciences.  Despite the growing popularity, there are a number of unresolved issues with respect to how spatial models should be specified, estimated, and interpreted.  This workgroup will explore recent developments for estimating spatial regression models using cross-sectional and panel (cross-sectional time series) datasets in a largely applied setting.  While the group will invariably discuss how different software packages (including R, Stata, and ArcGIS) can facilitate the creation and visualization of spatial data, these topics will only be discussed in the context of serving as a precursor to estimating spatial models.  Participants are expected to have a strong working knowledge of non-spatial regression and related estimation approaches and either past experience or concrete plans to apply spatial econometric methods in their own research.

Bayesian Analysis Workgroup

Time: Friday, 11AM (alterate weeks) Watson Library Room 455

Leader: Jonathan Templin, CRMDA Faculty Fellow <>

Bayesian statistical analysis is increasingly widely used in social, educational, and physical sciences. This group explores example applications and compares various computational strategies.

Ab/Non-Normal Data Projects

Time: Wednesday 1pm, Watson Library Room 455

Leader: Clay Webb, CRMDA Faculty Fellow <>

Classroom teaching examples are unrealistically normal, symmetric, and without missing values. Real research projects, in contrast, have data that is incomplete, truncated, censored, discrete, categorical, or otherwise different than we expect. This working group will focus on time series data that has categorical or dichotomous outcomes, because that is a focal area in several CRMDA projects. However, we also expect that students who are working on thesis projects will join and provide fodder for discussion. We have example problems considering ordinal regression and ordinal factor analysis that are also available for discussion.


Cluster Computing

Time: Friday, 11AM (alternates with Bayesian Workgroup) Watson Library Room 475 (may re-locate)

Leader: Paul Johnson, CRMDA Director <>

This group will develop working examples for usage high performance computing (HPC) systems. We will revise existing working examples for HPC (parallel-programs) and develop new examples. The selection of new projects is driven by the needs of the group participants.


A Google Group for our Workgroups

A Google Group named "CRMDA-workgroups" is being used to aggregate the activities of these workgroups. If you might like to join, you can request an invitation at or contact one of the group leaders directly and they can add you to the list. To request an invitation, log in on You should be able to search for "CRMDA-workgroups".

The Aggregated Calendar of Workgroup Schedules

CRMDA-workgroups: a Google-Group!

The calendar shown above lists events, but the messages about group activities are aggregated in a separate place, a Google Group named "CRMDA-workgroups".

CRMDA Calendar

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