Dean Amanda Woodward announced today the formal establishment of the Committee on Quantitative Methods in Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences at the University of Chicago, and the appointment of Guanglei Hong as inaugural chair.
This faculty-led initiative represents a University-wide interdisciplinary group of distinguished scholars committed to improving methodological research and education in the study of populations and societies. The Committee brings together scholars from across the Division of Social Sciences, Biological Sciences Division, and Harris School.
As the faculty group that proposed the Committee stated, advances in quantitative methods are yielding important knowledge about health, behavior, social relations, and the economy. The underlying methodological innovations often have relevance across the disciplines, yet historically, research and education in quantitative methods has occurred primarily within individual departments. This Committee will promote methodological innovation and training across the disciplines through building an intellectual community of scholars and students who are engaged in quantitative research. Their focus will be on theory-driven research that examines biological, behavioral, and environmental factors and their interplays. The Committee aims to improve research by inventing and disseminating new methods, launching exciting new joint research and training programs across the disciplines, producing a new generation of methodological innovators, and enhancing the training of a broad range of students who wish to become proficient in using available quantitative methods in their research.
As an academic unit, the Committee’s faculty includes members from the Social Sciences Departments (Comparative Human Development, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology), Biological Sciences Departments (Human Genetics, Medicine, and Public Health Sciences), the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Department of Statistics. The list of those with secondary appointments on the Committee is available here.
The Committee is already engaged in supporting a number of programs and activities, including:
- A bi-weekly workshop on quantitative methods that brings together leading methodologists from within and beyond the campus to learn about current breakthroughs in quantitative thinking
- Developing a Certificate in Advanced Quantitative Research Methods program open to Masters and PhD students within the University
- The Quantitative Methods and Social Analysis (QMSA) concentration in the MA Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS)
- The Quantitative Social Science track of the MA Program in Computational Social Science (MACSS)