What We Do

What We Do

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What We Do

We make the data.
You change the world.

In the right hands, raw materials reshape society. Aluminum has revolutionized transportation. Silicon continues to transform technology. Harnessing insights from the textual record of human history can improve lives around the world.

You can find it in the millions of news articles published since 1945. The translated news content from the CIA and other global government entities. The 500 million tweets produced daily. At the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research, we offer social scientists, humanists, and data scientists advanced tools and techniques to transform immense information into knowledge to better understand our most pressing societal issues. Climate change and societal instability. Police shootings and their repercussions. Managing food production resources and policies. Health disparities along socioeconomic lines.

Data to insight. Insight to knowledge.
Knowledge to impact.

The Cline Center for Advanced Social Research equips and empowers a new generation of social scientists, humanists, and data scientists to take up key challenges that threaten human flourishing in the 21st century—climate change, civil unrest, sustainability, inequality, security, and public health, to name a few—by applying advanced computational techniques at extreme scales to discover innovative solutions hidden in unstructured data.

Our many activities encompass several research initiatives, including monitoring civil unrest globally; tracking the over-time development of economic, political, and social indicators for more than 150 countries; and developing new algorithms and analysis tools for studying the millions articles in the Cline Center’s Global News Archive. The Cline Center’s mission also supports a wide range of teaching and outreach activities, from fellowship programs for faculty and graduate students to undergraduate research opportunities and topical symposia for the University of Illinois campus.

The Cline Center connects computational expertise in the data sciences with subject-matter expertise in the social sciences and humanities to address pressing societal problems around the world. Pursuing our mission of transforming information into knowledge that advances human flourishing involves four activity areas: research, education, collaboration, and outreach.

The Cline Center’s research agenda encompasses six themes: conflict processes; data science fundamentals; democracy and development; ethnic and religious identity; natural disasters and climate change; and news analytics. In addition, we support a diverse range of projects outside of these thematic areas that benefit from access to the Cline Center’s data, tools, and expertise.

Click here for an overview of the Cline Center’s research themes, research programs, and supported projects.

Training the next generation of researchers to use data science for the public good is interwoven through all that we do. We aim to provide transformative learning experiences through participating in hands-on research projects. Cline Center research opportunities involve undergraduate and graduate students in every level of cutting- edge research. We also provide data resources and tools that instructors can use to enrich their classes.

Click here for an overview of the Cline Center’s educational opportunities.

Collaboration is a core Cline Center value. We work with academic, non-profit, business and public sector partners who support our research and share our goal of making a positive difference in the world.

Click here to see who is partnering with us to change the world.

The Cline Center convenes and sponsors several public events annually. The Linowes Lecture and Cline Symposium bring prominent figures to the University of Illinois to discuss complex social challenges and innovative research that aims to address them.

Click here to learn more about our outreach initiatives.