Carnegie Mellon University

08-803 (Empirical Methods for Socio-Technical Research)

12 Units


Empirical methods play a key role in the evaluation of tools and technologies, and in testing the social and technical theories they embody.  This course is a survey of empirical methods, appropriate for PhD students in disciplines that involve the relationship between technology and humans, such as Software Engineering and Computation, Organizations, and Society.

This course is designed to acquaint you with several basic types of empirical methods including exploratory data analysis, ethnography, interviews, surveys, content analysis, archival analysis, and experimental and quasi-experimental design. Ultimately, the goal of the course is to develop your methodological skills both to make you a more sophisticated consumer of empirical research, and to help you design the empirical component of your own research program. You will be required to critique a number of examples of published research, as well as apply one or more methods to your current research projects to address an important empirical question.