.About SOCKS

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Harnessing the Data Revolution for Vermont: The Science of Online Corpora, Knowledge, and Stories (SOCKS)

SOCKS will advance initiatives grounded in principled methods through the quantitative measurement of sentiment and stories across a diverse portfolio of corpora. It will also provide new insights into the power and use of stories and narratives across a broad array of social, economic and health domains through integrated data and teams.

.Socks Current Research

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Current Research
In astronomy and biology, the telescope and the microscope helped us describe phenomena far beyond our limitations, opening up vast new scientific realms. With the SOCKS program, we’re working to do the same for stories by building and refining instruments that can ‘distantly read’ and make sense of enormous collections of texts, whether they be libraries of books, streaming social media, or Vermont folktales from the 1800s. We need to understand how stories evolve and spread, the effects stories have on populations, and with SOCKS, we will help grow a measurement-first science of stories.

StoryWrangler


Language is humanity’s greatest social technology. While we’ve been communicating for thousands of years, it is only recently that we’ve begun sharing content online—posting selfies, searching for validation, and expressing our uninformed opinions in hot takes and quote tweets. Making sense of all that is being said is a tall order, best suited to a suite of algorithms. Computers can digest bits of language and help us describe, explain, and understand cultural phenomenon at the scale of human populations. The StoryWrangler instrument reflects our first step towards wrestling the day’s events into coherence. It is an approximate daily leaderboard for language popularity around the globe. More...

Hedonometer


It’s what most people say they want. So how do we know how happy people are? You can’t improve or understand what you can’t measure. In a blow to happiness, we’re very good at measuring economic indices and this means we tend to focus on them. With our flagship instrument at hedonometer.org we’ve created an instrument that measures the happiness of large populations in near real time. We also link to applications of the instrument to literature, movies, and news. More...

Applications

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Applications
Stories are an essential part of how people comprehend, explain, predict, and seek to navigate the world. What are the fundamental kinds of stories? How do stories told through social networks influence our behavior? A powerful approach to quantifying the components of stories centers on enumerating the base units of n-grams—contiguous sequences of n words, including punctuation and other text elements in a body of writing—and how usages of and interactions between n-grams unfold over time.

.Job Opportunities

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Job Opportunities
We will be hiring tenure track academic positions with a focus on Computational Social Science, Digital Humanities, and Data Ethics with position announcements in Fall 2023 and 2024. We’ll also be hiring staff with a background in Data Science, Web Development, and Data Engineering.
GRA Applicants & Postdoctoral Candidates
GRA APPLICANTS
THERE IS A 2-STEP APPLICATION PROCESS FOR SOCKS GRA APPLICANTS:
  • GRA Applicants must also apply directly to the UVM Graduate College for admission into the UVM Graduate College in addition to the SOCKS GRA application below.
  • Admission into the SOCKS program is contingent upon acceptance into the UVM Graduate College. - The UVM Graduate College website may be found HERE.
  • The deadline for Complex Systems and Data Science at UVM is February 15, 2024. All deadlines may be found HERE.
POSTDOCTORAL CANDIDATES
The deadline for applications is ROLLING and applications are currently being accepted.

Postdoc
Instruments for Computational Humanities & Social Science


The Computational Story Lab seeks a postdoctoral fellow focused on building instruments reflecting sociotechnical systems, akin to http://hedonometer.org & http://storywrangling.org. More...

Budget Manager
Vermont EPSCoR


Perform financial operations related to the Vermont Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VT EPSCoR), a program designed to fulfill the National Science Foundation’s mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide. More...

Research Computing Data Engineer
Vermont Advanced Computing Center


This Research Computing Data Engineer position provides expert support for the Vermont Advanced Computing Center’s (VACC) research computing community, focusing on large-scale data pipelines, analysis, and visualization related to the SOCKS project. More...