"Over the next decade, data science is expected to have a significant impact across all sectors of the economy and society through automation and personalisation of services. The Hertie School Data Science Lab will leverage and amplify breakthroughs in data science and artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle major societal problems. Our mission is to foster, advance and promote excellence in data science research, education and application to enable better decision-making for the common good."
Slava Jankin | Director of Hertie School Data Science Lab
Our areas of focus
The key research focus of the Hertie School as a whole and Data Science Lab in particular is contribution to the common good. Core research areas involve experimental survey methods, causal inference, and natural language processing.
Educating future leaders
The Lab builds capacity through training and educating the new generation of public policy professionals and practitioners that utilize Data Science and AI to tackle complex societal challenges of today.
Technical and substantive support
Our Research Consulting team provides resources and advice on methodological and technical issues for graduate students, researchers, and faculty at the Hertie School and the SCRIPTS Cluster of Excellence.
Data science events and workshops
We organise regular data science events and meetups to help enrich campus life at the Hertie School and contribute to the academic, start-up and industrial dialogues of Berlin.
Theoretical and practical applications of machine learning methods to solve interesting policy and social questions.
Natural Language Processing
Fundamental research and development of natural language processing tools and methods to unleash the potential power of unstructured text data.
Experimental Survey Methods
Applications of techniques that combine random sampling with random assignment in conducting modern surveys.
Applications of causal inference methodologies in research into legislative politics, political economy, and public policy.
Political Behaviour and Communication
Research into opinion formation and how political behavior is shaped in the digital age, public opinion, and the use of online data in social research.
Health Implications of Climate Change
Tracking how human health is impacted by climate change over time to help raise awareness and countries' commitments for mitigating and adapting to the climate crisis of our time.
Artificial Intelligence in Government
Research into the impact of technology on human cooperation, and use cases of AI and Information and Communication Technologies in good governance.
Climate Change and AI Policy
Methods from statistics and machine learning to inform climate mitigation policy across the energy sector.
Lancet Countdown on health and climate change
Prof. Slava Jankin and Prof. Simon Munzert are regular contributors to the Lancet Countdown to help monitor the evolving health profile of climate change, and providing an independent assessment of the delivery of commitments made by governments worldwide under the Paris Agreement
Agent-based modelling of infectious diseases
To help find the most effective methods to utilize when modelling epidemics, the research team from the Centre for Digital Governance and the Data Science Lab conducts interviews with leaders in the field of infectious disease modelling and studying novel ways of using models to help improve policy.
Climate Change AI
Co-founded by Prof. Lynn Kaack, Climate Change AI (CCAI) is a international initiative to catalyze impactful work at the intersection of climate change and machine learning. Since its establishment in June 2019, CCAI has led the creation of a global movement in climate change and machine learning, encompassing researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, companies, and NGOs.
Media exposure and opinion formation
A research project led by Prof. Simon Munzert and supported by the Volkswagen Foundation, Paying Attention to Attention: Media Exposure and Opinion Formation in an Age of Information Overload studies the consequences of online media exposure for political preferences and behavior.
Addressing Germany's governance challenges
Led by Prof. Mark Hallerberg, this policy brief series represent an attempt to identify imminent obstacles and problems that undermine the welfare of German society, as well as tailoring policy advice to specific and timely priorities that any government coalition should address from a very early stage of its administration.
Machine learning enables global solar-panel detection
In this publication in Nature, Prof. Lynn Kaack analyses the policy implications of recent research using machine learning to grasp scale of global solar installations through satellite images and what is coming up next for this field of research.
Text as Data: Quantitative Text Analysis for Political Science & Public Policy
This course teaches students about statistical and computational tools that political scientists and policy analysts use for treating text 'as data'.
Data structures and algorithms
The course will helps students to understand the elementary building blocks of programming, solve simple coding problems, evaluate the complexity and efficiency of algorithms, and know the best use cases for each type of data structure.
Mathematics for data science
This course aims to deliver compact and tailored introduction to the core mathematical concepts of data science. Upon completing the course, students should have a broad understanding of linear algebra, probability and statistics, and optimisation necessary for data science.
Data science and decision making
This course offers students the opportunity to reflect on the extensive methods and techniques they have acquired and learn how to make optimal decisions based on the evidence at hand. It also provides relevant insights into the day-to-day operations of data and policy practitioners in the field and how their choices affect the work of their organisations at large.
Managing digitalisation and artificial intelligence in government
This course aims to demystify the complex concepts surrounding AI by looking at government implementation experiences. We look beyond the hype and focus on the real challenges and opportunities of practical applications of AI for government organisations.
Launching our new Master of Data Science for Public Policy (MDS)
The MDS brings together passionate students from both technical and social science backgrounds to deepen their analytical skills and develop an in-depth understanding of the policy world. During this two-year master's they learn how to leverage algorithmic decision-making to tackle some of the most complex challenges of our time with data-driven solutions. The Data Science Lab is proud to help manage and support for this new programme.
Supercomputing for data science research
Together with the IT unit, the Data Science Lab manages the high performance computing cluster at the Hertie School. The state-of-the-art multi-GPU enterprise deep learning server is accessible to faculty and researchers across the school’s various programmes. The server allows researchers to experiment and build prototypes for digital products and opens up new avenues for scientific exploration in data-driven research. In keeping with our mission for sustainability, the heavy electricity demand of supercomputing is offset by utilising completely carbon-neutral energy sources. Please contact Datasciencelab@hertie-school.org if you would like to experiment with and implement data science research on the server.
A creative space at the Hertie School
The Data Science Lab helps to manage the Hertie School Makerspace - a creative environment that combines a hackerspace mentality and a co-working atmosphere. Students, faculty and staff are provided with some of the essential tools for collaboration, invention, and creation (such as 3D printers, podcasting and livestreaming workstation, etc.) and are encouraged to work together in the spirit of exploration, hacking, entrepreneurship and partnership.
Data Science Summer School
A series of theoretical and practical workshops on the exciting quantitative methods and technologies currently employed by industry, government, and civil society to address the world's most complex problems. Organised every summer free-of-charge to participants worldwide.
Meet the data scientists
A meetup and networking series with data professionals to learn about their journey, experiences and opportunities in this exciting industry.
Data Science Brown Bag Seminar Series: The Politics of Right and Wrong: Moral Appeals in Political Communication across Time, Space, Ideology, and Topics
Tuesday, 02.05.2023 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (CET)
Join us for a talk by Tobias Widman from Department of Political Science at Aarhus University, Denmark, on the hyper-moralisation of contemporary politics. This is part of the Data Science Brown Bag series.
Data Science Brown Bag Series: Polarisation and social media in Ukraine: a Measurement Quandry
Tuesday, 18.04.2023 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (CET)
Join us for a talk by Małgorzata Zachara-Szymańska on the role of digital governance in Ukraine during the time of war. This is part of the Data Science Brown Bag series.
Data Science Brown Bag Series: Predicting Cycling Counter Measurements via Bike-App and Bike-Sharing Data with Machine Learning
Tuesday, 21.03.2023 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Join us for a talk by Silke Kaiser on her research into using machine learning to predict bicycle counter in Berlin. This is part of the Data Science Brown Bag series.
Data Science Brown Bag Series: I had a multidimensional scaling model for text, but then I broke it
Tuesday, 21.02.2023 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (CET)
Join us for a talk by Dr. Will Lowe on why some computational models for measuring spatial policy preferences work and others don't. This is part of the Data Science Brown Bag series.
Defining your use case: developing high-impact digital products with German government agencies
Friday, 17.02.2023 | 9:00 am - 4:30 pm (CET)
Join us for an exciting full-day interactive workshop on defining and design use cases for for government projects. The workshop is organised exclusively for Hertie students by the Bundesdruckerei and the Hertie School Data Science Lab.
Familiarity with the political role of ethnic minorities reduces voter bias against candidates of immigrant origin
Thursday, 20.10.2022 | 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm (CET)
A presentation by Dr. Julia Schulte-Cloos (Research Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute). This presentation is part of the CIVICA Research Excellence Tours funded by Horizon 2020 and the Political Economy Lunch Seminar.
Authoritarian Populism and the Internet: Exploring and explaining this global political trend with cross-national comparative research
Wednesday, 15.06.2022 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm (CEST)
A presentation by Dr. Gillian Bolsover (University of Leeds), hosted by Dr. Siân Brooke (LSE) and the Data Science Lab.