Looking for a topic for your Bachelor's or Master's thesis? Here are some topics I am happy to supervise or mentor. All topics can be written in Finnish or English. I am happy to work with students from any university on these topics; I can also be the formal supervisor for students at Aalto University.

Algorithmic Systems and the Society

There is an increasing literature focused on the social implications of algorithms. The major argument made in critical algorithm studies is that algorithms held power and therefore have social relevance. While sociologists have been interested in these themes and written a lot on it, the relationship between this literature and analysis of power (as conducted e.g., in political science) is rather thin.

Potential topics

  • The Power as seen in Critical Algorithm Studies: Conduct a review of the critical algorithmic literature and explore how power is discussed in the literature.
  • The Power as seen in Critical Algorithm Studies: Develop systems with demonstrate and allow experimentation of algorithmic power.
  • What kind of studies exists to measure citizens' considerations of algorithmic systems?

Social computing and democracy

Given the recent developments linking social media to politics (the Twitter revolution in Egypt, the election of Trump as president in the United States) it has become obvious that social computing has political consequences. These events have raised the overall importance of reflection within social computing scholarship. This reflection would benefit from understanding what social science community has already done to study democracy.

Potential topics

  • Review part of the literature on democracy and social computing.

Computational Social Science

There is increasing use of computational tools for social sciene research, such as automated data collection tools or data science tools for research. I seek to guide researchers interested on the methods for computational social science: either presenting novel theory-driven methods or examining validity and reliability of the existing methods.

Potential topics

  • What type of plots and analysis approaches are used in the papers which use Structured Topic Models?
  • What type of plots and analysis approaches are used in the papers which use topic modelling in media studies?
  • What kind of citations are used in the computational social science papers?

Interested? Send me email matti.nelimarkka@aalto.fi