Students in the governance analytics course

Students present their final projects. Photo, Madeleine Stevenson, eScience Institute.

Twenty-two students participated in the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance’s course “Computational Thinking for Governance Analytics” held in the winter quarter. The course was created and taught by professor Jose Manuel Magallanes, an expert on computational social science, who is a visiting professor and senior data science fellow whose presence at the UW is sponsored by the joint efforts of the eScience Institute and the Evans School.

The class was structured for public policy students of the school’s Master of Public Administration program, which gives participants a practical way to analyze governance by means of analytics of different data structures, including tables, networks and maps. It also connects analytics to optimization techniques and recent developments in policy simulation.

Professor Jose Manuel Magallanes looks on as a student presents. Photo, Madeleine Stevenson, eScience Institute.

Professor Jose Manuel Magallanes looks on as a student presents. Photo, Madeleine Stevenson, eScience Institute.

The participants developed good practices in reproducibility for professional work in policy research. The course includes programming languages (Python/R/Netlogo), version control  (GitHub), document preparation tools (markdown/latex), and advanced spreadsheet functionalities for operations research.