CUTF: A Computational Social Sciences Exploration

This semester, I am an undergraduate teaching assistant for Political Theory and the Future Analysis. Under Dr. Andrew Lotz’s mentorship, I will aim to bring analytical and technological components to what is typically a theory and discussion based class. Growing fields such as data science and artificial intelligence have a role in the successful learning of the social sciences. It is important for those who wish to go into politics, law, and other areas to have a knowledge of this technology and how it can be used to enhance their studies. This class ends with a final project, during which both Dr. Lotz and I will provide guidance for students to think about how we can be more future-regarding. I hope to influence students to use tools like Python and R to enhance their research and understanding of their chosen topic. I also hope to help them think more about the changes in society that developing technology will bring. By thinking this way, students will be more prepared to be future-regarding political scientists as well as will acquire skills that will benefit them in their careers.

After graduation in 2023, I hope to go to law school. My time at Pitt as well as working at the Child Advocacy Center has ignited a passion to defend those who most need it and to work for vulnerable populations. To be a successful attorney, you need to be a problem-solver. My experience with data science and technology has taught me how to approach problems when something is not working right as well as how to take a creative approach to adversity.

I am an Interdisciplinary Major of Computational Social Science: a major I had the opportunity to create myself in the Dietrich school. This CUTF project encompasses what this major is all about: enhancing the study of the social sciences with data science and technology. I am also a studio arts minor which keeps my creative side happy. 🙂 One cool thing about me – over the summer of 2022 I studied and worked in Cape Town, South Africa. I interned at Philisa Abafazi Bethu, an organization working with victims of gender based violence, tried so many new foods, and made life-long connections.

I climbed Lion’s Head Mountain in Cape Town. Behind me, you can see the flat mountain the city is known for: Table Mountain!

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