Andrea De Angelis, Senior Researcher and Lecturer, Dept. of Political Science, University of Lucerne (Switzerland)
University of Lucerne
Walk us through your resume: how did you get into the topic of your course?
I was half-way through my PhD, when I got seduced by the scientific potential of the massive amount of data surrounding us: smartphone data, social media data, digital texts, crowdsourced data… For an empirical researcher like me, it suddenly felt like being the child outside the bakery, staring at cakes from the window! A few years later, I crashed that window, to find out that, with data, size matters… but to an extent, and that, paraphrasing Herbert Simon, a wealth of information should never lead to the poverty of attention.
What will students learn by attending your classes?
I primarily teach my students how to self-learn: things are moving too fast today and, as instructors, we cannot just explain a few R functions and then wish our students “Good luck”. This said, I will train my students to handle some of the most common data access situations: scraping information from the Internet, interacting with APIs to get social media data, dealing with JSON and XML files, and show some publicly-available (big) data sets.
How would your students describe you?
At the start of my seminars, my students tend to describe me as “demanding” and complain because I ask too much from them. By the end of my seminars, students complain because they want to “do more”. I just hope they would describe me as a passionate teacher… and a cool guy!
Please, tell us something about yourself that’s not on your resume.
I love skiing and wave surfing.