Past workshops

Past workshops hosted by the Methodological Unit of HSSH.
16.4.2024 HSSH workshop on dyadic synchronization analysis

In this workshop we will look at current methods for importing, visualizing and analyzing various dyadic data (such as EDA, accelometer, facial AU or human ratings), along with artefact correction and calculating different indices of synchrony.  We will demonstrate the usage of two contemporary open-source packages in Matlab and R environments, with their creators kindly joining us during the morning sessions.

Familiarity with the used languages and time series analysis is required to get the full experience, but participation is open for all researchers at University of Helsinki Centre Campus. This is a great opportunity to ask questions regarding analysis methods from top-level experts on the field and to get inspired working on your own data together with your local colleagues during the afternoon session.

Time: 09:00-16:00, 16th April 2024.

Hybrid participation: Fabianinkatu 24, Room 524 (access via Vuorikatu 3 courtyard, take elevator or stairs from Café Portaali to floor B5, room 524 is on the right after a glass door) and in Zoom (

Sign up at:



Morning sessions with the toolbox creators:

09:00-10:30 EET (GMT+2)   (17:00-18:30 AEST, GMT+10)

PEWTR: a MATLAB toolbox for concurrent physiology analysis

Dr. Chase Sherwell, University of Queensland, (


10:30-12:00 EET (GMT+2) (09:30-11:00 CEST, GMT+1)

DyadSync: a toolbox for R (

Prof. Johann R. Kleinbub, University of Padova, (


Lunch break:

12:00-13:30 EET (GMT+2)


Afternoon session:

13:30-16:00 EET (GMT+2)

Collaborative work, networking and open discussion. Bring your own data and suggest topics! The organizers will provide example data and technical assistance.


The workshop is organized by Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH), University of Helsinki.

More information: Pentti Henttonen, +358504491284

The HSSH Datafication Research Programme Spring workshops: On Multimodal Analysis of Audiovisual Data

HSSH, with the Methodological Unit and the Datafication Research Programme, organizes City Centre Campus wide workshops on visual and audiovisual data. These thematic workshops are open for all and address the technological and philosophical challenges involved in the matter.

Contemporary political communication has been transforming into more multimodal direction, which presents a fascinating challenge for researchers in Humanities and Social Sciences. There are established traditions in multimodal analysis, but the mainstreaming of the phenomenon and the (assumed) availability of the data has generated further needs to collaborate and coordinate research practices in this field. These workshops focus on social media data and the particular technical and philosophical issues related to them, but some of this knowledge may be transferrable to non-multimodal data and audio, visual and audiovisual. Further complications exist in terms of data storage and availability for the social media data also in the multimodal sense.

This series of workshops seek to gather researchers across the City Centre Campus Faculties.



Friday 9 February at 14-16: challenges in methods:  

Short presentation: Matti Nelimarkka, Eeva Luhtakallio, Eetu Mäkelä 


Friday 8 March at 14-16 (Fabianinkatu 24, 524, entrance through Vuorikatu inner court yard): pilots from the Finnish Presidential Elections and other elections  

Short presentation: Salla-Maaria Laaksonen, Emilia Palonen 

Please sign up for catering: 

In this session we are going through some of the research on the presidential elections. Laaksonen and Pöyry’s team it has been funded through the HSSH. For Palonen’s research team the work carried out in January and February in Finland is a pilot for the European Parliamentary elections, and they also pilot the Portuguese elections. 

This session aims at discussing the challenges in the data process, scientific and technical solutions, as well as initial perceptions of the results of these studies.  


Friday 5 April at 14-16 (Fabianinkatu 24, 524, entrance through Vuorikatu inner court yard): theoretical and ethical general challenges in multimodal analysis 

In this session we discuss the theoretical and methodological challenges involved in working with visual data using different methodologies and epistemological approaches. The debate will discuss contributions from ethnography, more speculative approaches to generative AI as well as more mixed method and quantitative approaches. Short presentations by:  

Matti Pohjonen and Aleksi Knuutila: “Synthetic ethnography: Field devices for the qualitative study of generative visual models.” 

Katja Valaskivi: Image recognition and cultural meanings 

20.3.2024 HSSH Seminar on Experience Sampling methods and m-path software

Experience sampling is a flexible, innovative method for measuring momentary human experiences in the course of everyday life. The best practices and methodological tools for experience sampling designs are a topic of ongoing, lively discussion in human and social sciences.

HSSH organizes a seminar on experience sampling methods on March 20th, 12-16. The seminar is organized in two parts. First, Sointu Leikas (HSSH) and Veli-Matti Vesterinen (Faculty of Education) present their own experience sampling research, focusing on methodological successes and challenges (12:15-13:15). Second, one of the developers of the prominent experience sampling software m-path, Merjin Mestdagh (KU Leuwen, Belgium), will teach a 2-hour m-path workshop (13:30-15:30). Dr. Mestdagh will participate via zoom.

The seminar/workshop is open and free of charge for the University of Helsinki Centre Campus researchers. It is organized as hybrid (live in Centre Campus & in zoom), but there is only room for about 18 in-person participants. Zoom participation is unlimited.

P.s. HSSH has acquired a set of m-path licenses that are available for Centre Campus researchers’ small-scale use for free.

4.3.2024 Analysing human behaviour using continuous coding, time-series data and video observations

Does your research involve analysing video of people interacting? Do you want to capture time-dependent patterns in human behaviour? Do you want to understand e.g. how and why learners interact in classroom situations and/or in technology-rich learning environments?

We are excited to welcome you to the forthcoming workshop on analysing human behaviour on March 4, 2024 from 9:00 to 13:00. The hybrid workshop (Fabianinkatu 24 room 524, Helsinki and Zoom) will focus on continuous coding, time-seried data and video observations. In addition, the experts will address questions sent in advance by participants. The event brings together researchers and teachers  interested in human behaviour and multimodal data to learn and network.

Participation is free, but participants are expected to cover their own travel costs and meals.

The workshop is organised in collaboration with Faculty of Educational Sciences and Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH), University of Helsinki.

More information: Anna von Zansen

30.11. HSSH workshop on working with video data

30.11.2023 15:00-19:30 at Fabianinkatu 24 and Zoom. Registration open!

HSSH, in collaboration with The Science Basement, will organize a workshop on working with video data on 30.11.2023, 15:00-19:30. Hybrid participation via zoom and in location.

See the program below. Feel free to share this message!

This workshop will focus on best practices and useful tips on acquiring and analyzing video data. Topics and themes include but are not limited to:

  • Contemporary tools for audiovisual data collection and editing
  • Multiple camera setups and 360 degree video
  • Basic principles of photography and sound recording
  • Publishing video material, e.g. for educational use or podcasts


LOCATION: HSSH Seminar Room, Fabianinkatu 24, 5th floor room 524 (new room!) and Zoom

15:00 Introductions

15:15 Pentti Henttonen (University of Helsinki, HSSH): Audiovisual acquisition and editing equipment tutorial

In the first session, we will have a crash course on the AV resources available in Interlab and elsewhere on UH Centre campus. We will go through basic and multicamera setups along with 360 degree video and the basic postprocessing workflows and software.

16:30 Break (15 minutes)

16:45 Antti Verkasalo (Photoverk): Pro tips for maximizing the quality of your video material

Beyond just pressing record. This session will concern the fundamentals of video photography, e.g lightning, framing, focus and other ways to ensure and improve the quality of your acquired material. We have a professional videographer informing us about best practices and answering specific questions.

18:00 Break (15 minutes)

18:15-19:30 Eleanna Asvestari, Anastasiia Marmyleva and Marie-Noëlle Paludetto (The Science Basement):  From recording to release: A crash course on podcasting

Podcasting is a creative, engaging, and fun medium for communicating ideas, but we all know that sitting behind a microphone can be a daunting prospect. Did you ever think you would like to start your own podcast but do not know how? Or perhaps you already have one and want to take it one step further. During this workshop we will explore the process of planning, recording, editing, and promoting a podcast episode.


For any questions regarding the workshop, please contact:

Pentti Henttonen
Helsinki Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH), University of Helsinki, +358504491284

29.11. Introduction to Bayesian statistical modelling with brms

Statistics workshop by Bodo Winter

Title: Introduction to Bayesian statistical modelling with brms

Date and time: 29th of November, 09:00-16:00

Location: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Fabianinkatu 24 A, 3d floor (Common Room)

This one-day workshop introduces attendees to the basics of Bayesian analysis and the very flexible R package ‘brms’ (“Bayesian Regression Models with Stan”) to fit statistical models. The goal is for attendees to understand the core principles of Bayesian logic, learn how to reason about setting up a model and choosing prior assumptions, and learn how to interpret models. Delegates are expected to bring their own laptops, as there will be a mixture of theory and hands-on exercises in R, with data and code being distributed a week prior to the workshop. Attendees are expected to have some basic knowledge of R, the tidyverse, and linear models.

The workshop is organized in collaboration with the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities

The workshop is targeted to researchers at the City Centre Campus.

A 3-part workshop on meta-analysis in human and social sciences in October/November 2023

HSSH organizes a workshop series on meta-analysis in human and social sciences in October and November. The workshop is aimed at researchers at the University of Helsinki City Centre Campus.

Requirements for participation: basic understanding of statistics and basic R (the software) skills. Participants will be expected to bring their own laptops for the second session to participate in the exercises.

The series consists of 3 sessions:


1. An introductory session (Oct 24th klo 10-14) by Matias Kivikangas, covering themes such as

  • What meta-analysis is and what is it not
  • Documentation
  • Research question, systematic search, and selection
  • Data acquisition, evaluation and extraction
  • Heterogeneity, moderators, and subgroup analysis
  • Interpretation


2. A statistical practice session (Oct 26th klo 10-14) by Matias Kivikangas, with exercises covering

  • rescaling
  • effect size comparisons, sample size
  • 2- & 3-level models
  • heterogeneity, variance estimation
  • publication bias
  • forest plot, funnel plot


3. Challenges of meta-analysis (Nov. 3rd klo 10:15-11:45) by Ville Ilmarinen, covering themes such as

  • Can meta-analysis offer a better answer to a research question compared to methods such as multi-lab studies or extensive replication?
  • Commensurability of effect sizes
  • Diversity of study designs: apples vs. oranges?
  • Publication bias and file drawer effect: Examining the limitations of methods to identify and correct these biases.

The workshop is arranged at the City Centre Campus. Participants will be informed of the exact location before the workshop.

For more information please contact and mention "Meta-analysis workshop" in the subject line.

Please note that number of participants the workshop can accommodate is limited. The registration is thus binding, and you should inform the organizers well in advance if you need to cancel your participation so that people on waiting list can be admitted.

9.6. Workshop: Doing Gender in Mixed Methods Research

The Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) organises, in collaboration with the Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ), a workshop with Professor Jane Elliott (University of Exeter) on the use of mixed methods. The focus is on gender, but the issues covered are applicable to a variety of research topics combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. The workshop will cover: 

  • practical approaches to mixed methods research 

  • the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches 

The workshop will be held on Friday 9th June 2023 from 1pm to 4pm. It is targeted to researchers at the City Centre Campus and will be held in English. Please find below more detailed info on the practicalities and prerequisites for the workshop. 

Use this form to sign up by Friday 19th May. Participants with prior and/or planned use of mixed methods will be prioritised. Please note that the workshop can only accommodate 20 participants. The registration is thus binding, and you should inform the organisers ( in advance if you need to cancel your registration so that people on the waiting list can be admitted. 


Pre-requisites for the workshop

  1. prereading a book chapter and three short interview extracts (to be circulated) 

  1. attending the lecture Constructing gender and understanding inequality in qualitative and quantitative research by Prof Jane Elliott on Friday 9th June 2023 from 10am to 12am: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies Lecture Hall (Fabianinkatu 24, 3rd floor)

Preliminary programme of the workshop: 

1pm – 1:15: Introductions: previous experience/plans with mixed methods research & interest in gender 

1:15 – 2:00: Presentation: practical approaches to mixed methods research and intro to group work 

2:00 – 2:40: Exercise in groups: analysis of the pre-circulated qualitative interview extracts 

2:40 – 3:00: Tea break 

3pm – 3:30: Feedback and discussion on Group exercise: the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to analysis 

3:30 – 3:45: Discussion: the relevance for participants' own research and analysis practices 

3:45 – 4pm: Wrap up and next steps

5.6.2023 Workshop with Matthew Wood (University of Sheffield): What is the potential of photo elicitation to provide methodological innovation in Politics and International Relations?

12.30-14.00 at HSSH Seminar room (Vuorikatu 3, 2nd floor) 

Students should think about what are the most difficult methodological challenges they face in their own research. This could be related to how they get certain information to answer their preferred research question from interviews, surveys, or experiments. It could be where they think are the limits to the knowledge they can gain about their own research topic, if they only followed methods that are commonly used in their field. Where can they see potential to 'push the boundaries of knowledge' by using new methods? I want them to present one method they are thinking about using or they are already using, and reflect on these questions. I will start by presenting photo elicitation and why I think it can overcome the challenges that I find in my research field. 

Target group: PhD students (or other researchers) in social science (political science, IR, sociology, etc) who are interested in using photo elicitation in their work. 

Suggested reading: Wood, M., Antova, I., Flear, M., & Hervey, T. (2022). What Do “Left Behind Communities” Want? A Qualitative Study in the United Kingdom using Photo Elicitation. American Political Science Review, 1-15.

Please note! Dr. Matthew Wood is also holding a guest lecture on the subject before the workshop – read more here.

2.6.2023 When research gets under the skin: Developing support mechanisms for the emotional and ethical challenges of sensitive research

Time: 2.6.2033 10.30-14.30

Location: HSSH (Vuorikatu 3) 


Theme: Sensitive research topics could include subjects to do with health and illness, violence and abuse, racism and discrimination, or natural disasters and other crises. Several ethical issues arise when conducting research on sensitive topics. Such research carries the risk of emotional distress for both participants and researchers, as recalling or collecting traumatic experiences may trigger anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, or vicarious trauma. In some cases, investigating a sensitive topic may also place participants at risk of harm. Furthermore, young researchers might be discouraged from engaging with sensitive or divisive topics due to fear of harassment. 

As of now, the University of Helsinki does not have any protocols in place to ensure the safety of researchers and their emotional well-being. There has been a lack of academic support and inadequate training around this topic, leaving researchers and their supervisors to deal with it on their own. Even the mandatory research ethics course for doctoral researchers does not address handling sensitive data and requesting ethical statements when dealing with vulnerable participants. Young researchers are thus left alone with the stress and anxiety of preparing risk assessment documents, often filled with legal jargon. 

We thus ask: What happens when participants' voices live inside your head? What ethical issues are raised in planning and conducting sensitive research? And what could universities do to better support researchers who engage with sensitive topics? This workshop will offer researchers a safe and supportive environment to reflect on their experiences of dealing with sensitive, distressing, or emotional research data, as well as discuss practical solutions for how academic institutions could tackle this issue. 

Pre-assignment: Selected participants are asked to write a research journal for a few days to reflect on emotional and ethical challenges related to the research. The content will not be shared with the group. Participants can write their challenges on Flinga before the starting of the workshop: Code: Access code: EHQG3SC

In the beginning of the workshop, participants will be asked to reflect on the experience on an online whiteboard.  


Registration: The workshop is full and registration is closed. Thank you for your interest!



10.30 coffee

11.00 - 12.30 Part 1: Challenges   

  • Introducing participants and panelists   
  • Reading the results on the whiteboard and discussing with panel   
  • Questions to panelists from moderators and participants  

Lunch break 12.30 - 13.15

Part 2: Solutions 13.15 – 14.30 

  • Brainstorming possible solutions in small groups  
  • Discussing solutions with whole group and panelists  



Raha Sabet Sarvestany  

Postdoctoral researcher and lecturer, Study of Cultures, Turku Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS)  

Raha Sabet Sarvestany is an interdisciplinary-oriented researcher from Iran. Her background is in sociology, political sciences, and religious studies. Her research focuses on migration and political activism in Middle Eastern countries, especially in and from countries with religious governments. Her main research questions relate to women from diverse ethnicities and religious backgrounds, particularly their agency and constructive resilience as social activists or political prisoners.  


Simo Kyllönen  

University lecturer, Doctor of Social Sciences, Department of Philosophy, History and Art Studies, University of Helsinki  

Simo Kyllönen is Lecturer in Research Ethics and Open Science at the University of Helsinki. His  
main research topics are related to intergenerational justice, democratic theory and ethics of  
climate change. He has contributed to books and journals on climate change, intergenerational ethics and democracy.  


Kazimuddin (Kazu) Ahmed is a doctoral researcher at University of Helsinki specializing in participatory visual methods (PVM) for social sciences research and social change. He teaches film students and researchers in using visual methods for inclusive research and visual documentation, and facilitates the use of PVM among social workers and communities to amplify their voices on issues that matter to them. Beyond academia, Kazu explores how a combination participatory methods and digital technology can facilitate collaborative work between researchers, artists and community workers. 



Pasqualina Eckerström  

Doctoral researcher, Study of Religion, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki

Pasqualina Eckerström examines how heavy metal musicians in Iran and Saudi Arabia use their music as a means of resisting religious authoritarianism. She has collected multiple narrative interviews with musicians who have been tortured, imprisoned, or faced capital punishment in Evin, the most infamous prison in Iran. As for Saudi Arabia, she has interviewed musicians who keep their identities secret in order not to suffer the same fate as the Iranian participants. She was forced to think about the worst-case scenario and adopt extremely strict methods to conduct the interviews in a secure and protected manner.  


Helmi Halonen  

Doctoral researcher, Study of Religion, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki

Helmi Halonen studies the assessment of religious persecution claims in the Finnish asylum determination process. She works with a large data set of asylum interview transcripts and decisions obtained with a research permit from the Finnish Immigration Service. The data is highly confidential, and also contains detailed descriptions of violence and traumatic events.  



Matti Pohjonen   

University/Senior Researcher, Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH), University of Helsinki

Matti Pohjonen works at the intersection of anthropology, philosophy and AI. His research interests have involved developing critical new research approaches and methodologies to understand digital cultures and politics in comparative global contexts. His research has contributed to debates on digital politics and conflict globally, including work on online extremism, extreme/hate speech and mis/disinformation. 


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