Past workshops
Past workshops hosted by the Methodological Unit of HSSH.
3.5.2023 Dynamic Structural Equation Models

Workshop: Wednesday 3 May 09.00-11.00, 12-14

There is large interest in intensive longitudinal data analysis in educational research. The time-series-based Dynamic Structural Equation Model (DSEM) allows researchers to model the time-dynamics of processes over time, using single and multiple variables measured within a finite time-window. Intensive longitudinal data of multiple individuals is enabled in a multilevel framework. By specifying random autoregressive and cross-lagged effects, individual differences in within-person processes can be parameterized at the between-level. Finally, person-characteristics can be included in models to predict processes.

In this workshop we will cover: (1) An introduction to key-terms in time-series modelling such as lagged variables, residuals, stationarity, equidistance of time-lags. We will eye-ball data in R. (2) Multiple participant models with time-points nested in person, using the CASS data of university students’ positive and negative emotions during two weeks. We will step-by-step use the Mplus-demo and full-version to investigate relationships between variables at time T and lagged variables at time T-1, giving full auto-regressive and cross-lagged models, and visualize finding from these using R. (3) We will briefly review next steps such as models with individually varying residuals and correlated residuals, how to set more informed priors for the Bayesian estimator, and review studies of sample size requirements for DSEM.

Lars-Erik Malmberg is Professor of Quantitative Methods in Education, at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, UK. He has more than 100 publications (peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reports). He was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Learning and Instruction 2018-21. His current research interests are on intraindividual approaches to learning processes, and modelling of intensive longitudinal data. He has published on effects of education, child care and parenting on developmental and educational outcomes, and teacher development. He applies advanced quantitative models to the investigation of substantive research questions in education. Links between educational phenomena and physiology were explored in the Emerging Field Group “The potential of biophysiology for understanding learning and teaching experiences”.

Professor Lars-Erik Malmberg from the University of Oxford will be visiting Helsinki in May as a visiting professor hosted by HSSH and professor Katariina Salmela-Aro (Faculty of Educational Sciences).


Participants should bring their own laptops with both R and MPlus installed (Mplus free demo version is fine).

Basic understanding of regression modelling is essential, and experience of multilevel modelling is beneficial.

27.4.2023 Workshop: Register data for educational sciences

HSSH organises an afternoon workshop on the use of register data in educational sciences. The workshop gives a brief overview on what register data is and what it can be used for, covering issues such as:  

  • what kind of data are available  
  • how to get access to the data  
  • what kind of special issues there are in data management and analysis 

The workshop will be held on Thursday 27.4.23 at 14.00-16.00 at Minerva lecture hall K114 (Siltavuorenpenger 5 A).

The workshop is targeted primarily for researchers at the Faculty of Educational Sciences but other researchers from the City Centre Campus are also welcome if there is room (max 24 participants on site, possibility for online attendance). It will be held in Finnish or English depending on the participants. 

11.-20.4.2023 Video editing with FFMPEG


How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Command Line Syntax

This HSSH workshop will provide introduction to FFMPEG software (, which is a simple and replicable command line tool for basic video editing tasks, such as:

  • Cutting and joining clips
  • Converting between formats
  • Adding subtitles
  • Pseudonymizing and adding other effects

Workshop will take place in four identical sessions in April 2023 at HSSH Seminar Room, Vuorikatu 3, 2nd floor. Each session fits around 10 participants. You can participate in more than one session if there is room, but the content will be same for all. The sessions are at:

Tue 11.4 10-12
Tue 11.4 14-16
Thu 20.4 10-12
Thu 20.4 14-16

Sign up with e-form:

Having a laptop with FFMPEG installed is not required for participation, but is helpful if you want to try out things with your own material. FFMPEG is not distributed by UH Software center, so you must ask helpdesk for installation.

13.3.2023 & 20.3.2023 Workshop: Analysing textual data using Atlas.ti

The Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) organises a two-afternoon workshop on the basics of Atlas.ti software in March. The workshop focuses on the technical aspects of Atlas.ti and how it can be used in the qualitative analysis of textual data, including:

  • creating a project
  • importing different file formats 
  • using the basic data management tools of the program
  • the overall logic of the program (notes, grouping etc) 

Qualitative research methods as such will not be covered, so a working knowledge on qualitative text analysis is prerequisite. Participants can bring their own textual data, but example data are also provided. The workshop requires using your own (work)laptop. The instructor is Sini Järnström from the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences. 

The workshop is targeted for researchers at the City Centre Campus and is free of charge. It is organized in person at the City Centre Campus as follows:

  • Monday 13.3.2023 at 13.00 – 15.00
  • Monday 20.3.2023 at 13.00 – 15.00 

Use this form to sign up for the workshop. Please note that the workshop can only accommodate 20 participants. The registration is thus binding, and you should inform the organisers ( well in advance if you must cancel your registration so that people on the waiting list can be admitted. 

9.3.2023 Workshop for doctoral students and early career researchers: Digital methods for social research

Time: March 9, 2023, 9-17

Follow-up sessions for course participants (time TBA):

  • Online feedback session in May 2023
  • Wrap-up seminar with project presentations in October 2023

The purpose of the workshop is to learn the principles of doing social sciences and humanities research using digital methods. The notion of digital methods refers here to examining phenomena online either conducting “digitally native” research that "thinks along" with devices and services (Rogers, 2013) or by engaging in methods of computational social sciences (Lindgren, 2020; Nelimarkka 2023), often in combination with more traditional methods (e.g. Laaksonen et al., 2017). Digital methods projects can be conducted either by using available ready-made tools (e.g., DMI Tools, Korp) or coding with Python or R.

We will introduce a variety of tools and provide pathways to extend skills in engaging with them, also for participants who have more experience in computing. Furthermore, the course aims to develop the participants’ digital research imagination and mixed-method thinking to create meaningful and feasible research strategies for digital research in social sciences and humanities. After completing the course, the participants will have general and practical knowledge on the possibilities and limitations of utilizing digital methods and computational social science tools in their own research.

During the course all participants will plan and execute a small digital methods research project of their own. The mid-term assignment is a method-focused working plan for an article project that uses digital and/or computational methods. The final assignment is a report on a real-world empirical question explored using these methods.

The workshop is organized by the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities HSSH Methodological Unit in connection to the first visit of professor Simon Lindgren.

Target group

The workshop is targeted for doctoral students of the doctoral programmes in the center campus. Other researchers can also join if there is space, but priority will be given to early career scholars. Previous skills with programming and computational methods are not required. We will adapt the teaching both to student with and without such skills.


Please register by filling this e-form by Feb 28. We will inform accepted participants on Feb 29 the latest.


The workshop is supported by the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities HSSH and it is run by Docent Salla-Maaria Laaksonen, Professor Katja Valaskivi, Visiting Professor Simon Lindgren, Dr. Matti Pohjonen, Dr. Jouni Tuominen, Associate Professor Eetu Mäkelä.

Credits and grading

Taking part in the workshop, feedback sessions and the final seminar, and returning both mid-term and final assignments corresponds to 5 credits of methodological studies. More details are to be agreed with supervisors.

If you have any questions, please contact

21.2.2023 Generative AI as an object of research and method? A workshop on using new text-to-image AI models in SSH research

Now also including ChatGPT.

This workshop, facilitated by Anton Berg and Matti Pohjonen from the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH), explores some of the opportunities and challenges of using these new text-to-image models for research. The emergence of a new generation of synthetic media tools such as web apps that facilitate the use of these AI models, however, now offers new opportunities for researchers to explore the models and the training data used in them.

The workshop provides an introduction to researchers interested in using these tools in their own research and some of the methodological questions raised by this. It first introduces popular text-to-AI models currently in use and the AI systems behind them. It then outlines different research projects where these models have been used to explore questions of representation and bias in AI systems. Finally, it provides hands-on examples of how to use these models, what platforms and tools are available, and what are some of the technical issues required to run them in a more systematic way. This includes an ecosystem of easy-to-use apps and web pages, as well as Google Colab notebooks and GitHub repositories for the more technically literate.

The workshop is targeted toward researchers interested in understanding these new text-to-AI image models as new cultural phenomena but also how these models themselves could be repurposed for more rigorous social sciences and humanities’ research interested in the cultural impacts of AI.

The workshop is arranged in person at Faculty of Theology hall, Fabianinkatu 24, room 524 on 21.2., 14.00-17.00.

Read more about the workshop and sign up here.

12.1.2023 Facial behavior analysis workshop

Facial behavior analysis as a research methodology

This workshop will focus on video-based algorithmic recognition and estimation of facial features, facial muscle gestures (action units), head position and gaze direction. Topics and themes include but are not limited to:

  • Validity, reliability, and signal-to-noise ratio of contemporary methods
  • Overview of open source (Openface) and commercial (Noldus Facereader) software                
  • Action units and their use in different contexts and paradigms
  • Tradeoffs between noninvasive vs. invasive (electromyography) data acquisition


12.1.2023 10.00 – 16.00 Vuorikatu 3, Helsinki

BYOD (Bring your own data) if you want!


Final program:

Part I: Theory 10.00-13:00

LOCATION: HSSH Seminar Room, Vuorikatu 3, 2nd floor and Zoom

10:00 Introductions

10:10 Viljami Salmela (University of Helsinki):

“Processing of faces and facial features in the brain”

10:50 Pentti Henttonen (University of Helsinki, HSSH):

“Present status of facial behavior research in Finland”

11:30 Break (10 minutes)

11:40 Romain Hollands (Noldus):

“Introduction to Noldus Facereader software”

12:20 Matias Piispanen (Aalto University):

“Introduction to Openface software”

13:00 Lunch break (1 hour) 


Part II: Practice 14:00-16:30

LOCATION: Room 524 , Fabianinkatu 24, 5th floor, and Zoom*

Afternoon program in another room, but still in the same building (official addresses differ). We will organize a zoom stream (*) for overall participation and Q&A, but due to the hands-on nature of the program, remote attendance might not provide the full experience.

We will organize into two loose groups, based on prior experience, software needs and research interests. We will provide workstations with installed software and example data for both groups. We can also have a look at data provided by participants.  For sensitive data, we will have a private breakout option. Rough guideline for afternoon’s program is:

14:00-15:00 Data analysis I: Tutorial and example data

15:00-16:00 Data analysis II: Participant-provided data and troubleshooting

16:00-16:30 Concluding remarks and future directions


For any questions regarding workshop, please contact:

Pentti Henttonen
Helsinki Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH)
University of Helsinki


7.12.2022 & 18.1.2023 Workshop: From Raw Data to Analyzable Data

This workshop focuses on strategies of handling raw questionnaire data, multimodal data, and longitudinal data. Challenges in handling and combining data with different measurement intensity or different structure are common. This workshop provides tools and strategies for modifying datasets together for easier upkeep, sharing and analyzing. Data processing is not just about tools - hence, workshop participants will be guided through data collection and processing pipeline from a wider perspective. Methods are meant to be more universal rather than program specific. In the workshops R programming language is used, with examples in SPSS and Excel included as well. These are practical workshops where we focus on actual processing with your own data. Example data is provided for rehearsing introduced methods.

The workshop instructors are Visajaani Salonen and Pentti Henttonen from HSSH and it is targeted for research assistants and those dealing with research data including doctoral researchers and master's students.

Workshop is organized in 2 parts. Please note that both parts can accommodate 20 participants, so participation is limited. Sign up for part 1 here and part 2 here. The workshop is organized in person at the City Center Campus.

Workshop 1: 2 x 60 min (small breaks between) + 60 min free hands-on working

7th of December 2022 time 12.00 – 16.00

Use this form to sign up for the first part of the workshop.


1. Basic beginning procedures (15 + 45 min)

· Creating identifiers

· Missing data handling

· Converting data into different format

· Variable naming and labels

· Data intensity


2. Messy to Zen (15 + 45 min)

· cleaning data; what is OK to clean out

· Variables having multiple answers -> expand for analysis

· Long format versus wide format of data


Workshop 2: 2 x 60 min (small breaks between) + 60 min free hands-on working

18th of January 2023 time 12.00 – 16.00

Use this form to sign up for the second part of the workshop.


1. Multiple datasets (15 + 45 min)

· linking data from different sources

· connecting datasets with lacking identifiers

· Dataset identifiers

· Aggregation


2. Multi-modal data (example of problem solving needs) (15 + 45 min)

· e.g. examples of EDA, HRV, actigraph, response time and log-files

· Aggregation problem

· Synchronization

· Noise reduction, quality estimation

16.11.2022 Workshop: Computational methods in studying legal phenomena

Workshop: Computational methods in studying legal phenomena

The workshop will be arranged in person at HSSH, Vuorikatu 3 on 16.11, 13-15


Are you using, or interested in using, empirical (quantitative or qualitative) methods to analyse legal materials or data related to law? If yes, come to meet other likeminded researchers and research groups. To get the conversation going, researchers from the University of Helsinki Legal Tech Lab will briefly present their ongoing work on computational bibliometric analysis of literature on regulating Artificial Intelligence.



The workshop is organised by HSSH and Legal Tech Lab.

The University of Helsinki Legal Tech Lab is an interdisciplinary and international research hub located at the Faculty of Law. We examine the intersections of law, technology, and society. We believe that these areas of life develop hand-in-hand and co-produce each other. We study law and digitalisation broadly, examining technology as object of research, but also as tools of analysis. We believe that challenges raised by technological development (computational turn, increase of algorithmic governance) require new knowledge and new ways of doing things, especially interdisciplinary research collaboration and (empirical) research methodology.

Riikka Koulu is the Director of the University of Helsinki Legal Tech Lab, and Assistant Professor (Associate Professor 1.2.2023 –) on Social and Legal Implications of AI - a joint position of the Faculty of Law and the Faculty Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki. Koulu's background is in both procedural law and legal theory. Present expertise encompasses technological change of legal processes, critique of human oversight, and automated decision-making in public administration, as well as general interest in methodology for legal empirical work on law, technology, and society.



If you are interested in the workshop, please send an email to Please use “Computational methods in studying legal phenomena” in the subject-line of your email. For additional questions about the content of workshop please send an email to, research coordinator and deputy director of the Legal Tech Lab.

19.5.2022 Workshop on Weights in ESS Data

The Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) organises a workshop on the use of weights in the European Social Survey (ESS) in Zoom on Thursday 19 May 2022 at 14.15-15.45

If you are using or would like to use the European Social Survey and have questions related to how weights should be applied in the analyses, join us to discuss this with other researchers and with Teemu Kemppainen, a Senior Lecturer in Urban Geography at the University of Helsinki and an expert on ESS data.

Teemu will be presenting some example code in Stata, but questions related to other packages (SAS, R, SPSS) can also be discussed. The ESS data can be downloaded from The session will be held in English.

Please register for the workshop by email to by Friday 13 May 2022. You can also send any questions beforehand with your registration.

5.-6.4.2022 Remaking Networks Workshop

Remaking Networks: A workshop for creating interdisciplinary relationships in research


Alison Powell, Associate Professor
London School of Economics and Political Science
JUST AI Network on Data and AI Ethics

Tuesday 5th April: 15.00 - 17.00 (in person workshop)
Wednesday 6th of April: 15:00-16:00 (zoom presentation)

This workshop builds on the research and interventions developed through the JUST AI Network, which has been focused on mapping and intervening in the practice of data and AI ethics research within and beyond the UK. Building on theory and practice from social network analysis as we well as feminist methods, JUST AI has created a set of interventions and strategic workshops that use practices of network-creation, reflection and connection to investigate and create opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and shared decision-making regarding organizational values.

The ‘network’ has become a common metaphor for social and intellectual relationships. Research efforts to build ‘networks’ have often implicitly been based on notions of linkage, interconnection or proximity, sustained with reference to techniques like social network analysis. However, other models of network building may also be possible, and these may open spaces of interdisciplinary engagement in new ways.

This workshop, facilitated by Alison Powell and Annelie Berner, outlines some insights from the JUST AI project, which used social networking methods to map research related to data and AI ethics, to identify gaps and to create opportunities to transform topics, ways of working and ethical considerations. See: Mapping AI and data ethics | Ada Lovelace Institute

The workshop is organised in participation with the HSSH Methodological Unit.


The workshop will include both a hands-on (in-person) workshop on Tuesday the 5th of April followed by a public presentation (online) on Wednesday, 6th of April.

The main portion of the hands-on (in-person) workshop employs the JUST AI ‘reflection prototype’ – a survey and visualization tool that seeks to create connections ‘from the inside out.’  See: JUST AI reflection prototype | Ada Lovelace Institute

Participants will be asked to complete the reflection tool survey before the workshop and will be guided through prompts, drawing exercises and collaborative engagement to identify opportunities for ethical reflection and interdisciplinary collaboration. 

The full workshop including presentation and exercises should take approximately 2 hours, not counting the time to complete the survey prior to the event.


To sign up for the workshop please send an email to Please use “Remaking Networks Workshop” in the subject-line of your email.

As we have limited spaces available, if you are interested in attending the hands-on (in person) part of the workshop, please also indicate the type of research you are doing and the reasons why you are interested in participating in the in-person workshop. The selected participants will be notified on March 28th, 2022.

The workshop is especially suitable for researchers interested in interdisciplinary research.


Alison Powell is Associate Professor in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Principal Investigator on the JUST AI project, which maps and intervenes in the practice of data and AI ethics research. She is also the author of Undoing Optimization: Civic Action in Smart Cities (Yale University Press, 2021). Her research explores ethics, values and practice in relation to emerging technologies. 

Annelie Berner is a designer and artistic researcher who creates work at the intersection of science, experiential design and data representation. She collaborated with Alison on the VIRT-EU project between 2016 and 2020 and on the JUST AI project.

8.-9.3.2022 Quali-Quantitative Methods Workshop

Visualizing Algorithmic Cultures: 
A Quali-Quantitative Methods Workshop 

8.-9. March 2022 

The availability of large quantities of data from online platforms and the rise of computational techniques for processing it have prompted a redistribution of expertise between academic disciplines such as computer science, anthropology, sociology (Marres 2012). How can different disciplines work together in the analysis of digital social data?

This workshop, drawing on insights from Science and Technology Studies and Digital Sociology, argues that we need to rethink standard divisions of labor or mixed methods approaches. It proposes the use of data visualizations as both a tool to aide qualitative, interpretive work but also as a means of method critique – to make visible what particular computational techniques leave out. Through this two-pronged approach, visualizations can promote the development of new tools and combinations of methods by assisting dialogue across disciplinary divides. 

The workshop will start with presentations by David Moats, Minna Ruckenstein, Joni Oksanen and Krista Lagus on the 8th of March about their project studying discussions about health and personal medicine on Reddit (open to physical and virtual participation), followed by a (physical) workshop on the 9th in which small teams of researchers will work on short projects using data scraped from Reddit. 

The workshop is organized in participation with the HSSH Methodological Unit.

Tentative Schedule

Tuesday 8th March  
13:00 Talk by David Moats with discussion  
14:00 Presentations by Minna Ruckenstein, Joni Oksanen, Krista Lagus.  
15:00 Prep for those participating in the workshop.  
15:30 First day ends

Wednesday 9th March  
13:00 – 17:00 Hands-on workshop