The centre is managed by its director, Professor Denny Borsboom, and four coordinators from each of the faculty’s domains: Dr Anne Kroon (Communication Science), Dr Julia Haaf (Psychology), Dr Suzanne Jak (Child Development and Education), Dilara Valeeva (Social Sciences).
Professor Denny Borsboom (PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2003) is Director of the SoBeDSC. His research combines conceptual analysis, often based on insights taken from the philosophy of science, with the development of statistical techniques and practical methodologies that are designed to improve and expand the methodological framework in psychology. For example, in the past decade, Borsboom has focused on the development of techniques represent psychometric constructs as networks of interacting variables, which has led to the development of network psychometrics. His current research program is devoted to the development of techniques and methodologies that can aid psychologists in theory development.
Dr. Anne Kroon (PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2017) represents Communication Science. She is an assistant professor of Corporate Communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the University van Amsterdam. Computational social science techniques are at the forefront of Anne’s research and teaching. In her research, she focuses on (1) the role of algorithms in recruitment and hiring in shaping (unintended) biased recommendations, and (2) the content and consequences of (biased) representations of minorities in media content. In addition, Anne coordinates the development of two digital data infrastructure projects for the social sciences: Twi-XL and the Media Content Analysis Lab.
Dr Julia Haaf (PhD, University of Missouri, 2018) represents Psychology. She is an assistant professor in the Psychological Methods group, Department of Psychology at the UvA. Her research focuses on the development of Bayesian hierarchical modeling approaches to assess individual differences in cognitive phenomena. Examples of such phenomena are interference effects, recognition memory, and subliminal priming. Key to understanding individual differences in cognitive tasks is to disentangle stable, qualitative individual differences from sample noise. A central aim of Julia’s work is to develop statistical modeling solutions that are tailored to capture key theoretical constraints. As an open science enthusiast Julia tries to make her work as accessible as possible to other researchers and the public.
Dr Suzanne Jak (PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2013) represents the department of Child Development and Education. She is assistant professor in the Methods and Statistics group of the Research Institute of Child Development and Education. Her research focusses on structural equation modelling in general, and specifically in combination with measurement invariance, multilevel data, or meta-analysis. The goal of Suzanne’s research is to make these technique better known and more user friendly for researchers who’s research might benefit from using these techniques, and to develop new methods where needed. She is currently working on developing meta-analytical structural equation models that optimally use all available relevant information, such as dependent effect sizes, mean structures, and raw data.
Dr Diliara Valeeva (PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2021) represents the Social Sciences. She is an Assistant Professor in Computational Social Science at the Political Science department of the UvA. Her research focusses on the role of business, finance, and elites in modern societies. Diliara uses social network analysis as her main methodological tool and relies on large and complex datasets. To understand social and economical systems, she also applies a range of computational methods such as text analysis, machine learning, regression analysis, event models, and simulations.
Post doctoral researchers and data stewards
Supported by the UvA DSC, several data stewards and postdoctoral researchers work for the SoBe DSC.
Dr Tessa Blanken (PhD, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 2020) is a postdoctoral researcher in the Psychological Methods group, Department of Psychology, at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the complex interplay between insomnia and depression, where she integrates biology and behaviour through network science. In March 2020 she cofounded Science versus Corona, a data consultancy desk and interdisciplinary platform to unite experts and facilitate corona-related research across disciplines. Among several projects, she set up experimental studies on physical distancing by using new techniques that allow to directly measure behaviour. This work currently inspires new projects and collaborations on social networks and pedestrian modelling. In all her projects she aims to use and develop data science techniques to investigate societal challenges in an interdisciplinary way.
Dr Joanna Strycharz (PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2020) is an assistant professor of persuasive communication at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on how insights gained from data can be used to adjust communication between organizations and consumers. She is also interested in how such data-driven communication impacts cognitions, attitudes, and behavior of consumers as well as what unintended effects such communication has on individuals and the society. In her work, she often relies on a combination of different quantitative data (e.g., surveys, experiments, online trace data), applying methods such as structural equation modelling, multilevel and panel analysis, natural language processing, and methods of causal inference.
Dr Susanne Baumgartner (PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2013) is an assistant professor of Youth and Media Entertainment at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the role of digital media in adolescent development. Specifically, she is interested in how digital media affect the cognitive development of youth. Moreover, she studies the effects of smartphones on stress and sleep. To study the impact of digital media, she employs innovative methodological approaches, such as experience sampling, smartphone tracking data, physiological measures, and eye-tracking.
Emma Schreurs (MSc, University van Amsterdam, 2020) is a data steward at the Department of Child Development and Education, for the University of Amsterdam. Her work focuses on the development of Research Data Management (RDM), which includes her involvement in several ongoing projects, among which the implementation of the Research Management Services, Research Data Exchange, and the development of new RDM guidelines for the Faculty Social and Behavioural Sciences. She is interested in machine-actionability (i.e., the capacity of computational systems to work with none or minimal human intervention), seeing that researchers increasingly rely on computational support to deal with large and complex data sets and higher computational speed.
Anna Keuchenius (MSc, University of Amsterdam, 2021) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Political Sociology group, department of Sociology, the University of Amsterdam. Her research is situated in the field of computational social science and focuses on integrating a complexity science view on social systems with a sociological view that pays attention to collective meaning-making. From that perspective, she studies how new ideas emerge and spread successfully or lead to conflict, using large social media datasets, network analysis and machine learning. Anna is one of the initiators behind the Computational Social and Behavioral Science Community, bringing together researchers and institutes that use computational tools to study social dynamics.
Evelien Oomen (MSc, University van Amsterdam, 2016) is data steward at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), for the University of Amsterdam. She has worked at the AISSR as program manager for four years prior to her position as data steward, assisting researchers with managing research grants, and witnessing developments and changes in research data management (RDM) requirements from subsidy holders. With a background in anthropology, Evelien is particularly interested in RDM of qualitative and ethnographic research projects.
Amber van der Wal is a data steward at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). In this capacity, she helps researchers to understand and incorporate best research practices that are in accordance with institutional protocols and European laws and regulations (GDPR). In order to do so, she works closely together with the university’s legal department, the data stewards of the other domains within the faculty, and the institute’s ethical review board. Amber has a great passion for the field of Communication Science and the principles of open science and FAIR data in general. Being a data steward is part of her job as ASCoR’s Research Manager, which entails being the first person of contact for all research-related issues. In addition, she also teaches in the Communication Science master track and works as a postdoctoral researcher in Project AWeSome, led by Patti Valkenburg.
Aino Koho (LLM, University of Amsterdam, 2019) is a data steward at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the University of Amsterdam. In this role she supports researchers with the implementation of good data management practices in accordance with institutional guidance, and the applicable European laws and regulations. With background in data protection and GDPR compliance, Aino is particularly interested in the interplay between privacy and open science.
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