Upcoming GIRI Seminar

Fall 2023: Digital Bias and Machine Learning

In the Fall 2023 iteration of GIRI, students will learn about the role of digital automation in biased social systems and will learn practical applications of machine-learning techniques for research. Students will learn to train and utilize machine learning models in the context of large public and academic datasets relevant to diversity, equity, and inclusion research. Models will be trained using the R programming language; the fundamentals of this language will be surveyed during the course. Alongside practical approaches to data preparation and modeling, students will consider critical approaches and social concerns related to the ethics and epistemology of data collection, presentation, and archiving. 

Program Description

The Global Inequality Research Initiative (GIRI) seminar is an interdisciplinary, vertically integrated research course that emphasizes a judicious application of mixed methods from the social sciences and humanities, including quantitative, qualitative, and archival research.

Cross-listed in multiple departments, GIRI facilitates integrated study and research across fields of social, historical, and political inequality. The course, typically offered once each semester, invites students to produce a major paper that will qualify for submission to a refereed journal in the area relevant to the focus of the study. Past GIRI seminar themes have included reparations, genetics and neuroscience, racism in Europe, and social determinants of health.

Program Goals

  • The goal of the class is to navigate the students through a rigorous process that introduces them to the research process. This includes some exposure to qualitative and quantitative methodology.  It introduces students to data gathering, cleaning, analysis, and presentation.  When students complete the course, they should have a better understanding of inequalities and its connection to the course’s topic.  An advanced undergraduate student or graduate student should gain value from this course.
  • In all Global Inequality Research Institute courses, the goal is to immerse students in open-ended research, only with the guidelines of exploring a component of the semester’s theme.
  • Students should not only be able to conduct research, but also share it. GIRI courses always conclude with a capstone conference, where students present their research in a poster or presentation format. The final component of sharing is the goal of having the research paper published in a Social Science journal.


Teaching Assistants