The data science revolution is bringing unprecedented opportunities to social science research. Never before have we had such enormity and variety of data, from endless social media streams to every survey imaginable, from outputs of every conceivable sensor and wireless device to massive consumer databases. We are seeing data in every form, every level of granularity and quality. Social scientists’ newest challenge is to generate insight from the data for the political, economic and social wellbeing of individuals and our society. The issues include developing tools and methods to process and understand the data, theoretical frameworks for the integration of new insight from such massive data to existing knowledge in social sciences, the applicability of new insight to appropriate contexts and new ethical considerations that are emerging in this age of Big Data. The MIDAS Social Science Research Hub funds two initial research projects. Through a variety of hub activities, MIDAS hopes to:
- Disseminate tools and methods to empower campus-wide data-intensive social science research.
- Build a collaborative network of social science researchers that will propel UM to the forefront of transportation research in the nation.
- Form industry partnerships and transform research findings into social, political and economic insights that will inform businesses, policymakers and public services.