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September 19, 2007

New Secure Data Center Opens

This fall IRiSS will open a new Secure Data Center to support research that analyzes confidential and sensitive data sets. According to IRiSS director Karen Cook, the center will develop expertise and specialized infrastructure to stay ahead of two trends in the social sciences--one is the demand for access to the growing mass of micro data available to the research community; the other is the heightened concern about the protection of these data.

Sociology Professor Matthew Snipp has been appointed the founding director of the center. Snipp indicates that leading the list of projects to be launched this year is the opening of a Stanford node of the Census Bureau's Research Data Centers, in collaboration with UC Berkeley. In addition to the many data sets from the Census Bureau, the new center will soon also provide access to health microdata from the National Center for Health Statistics. Future initiatives will facilitate access to a variety of data sets with special licensing restrictions and protections.

Snipp's own research uses Census data to understand how factors such as residence, education and family composition are related to racial identification and especially to questions about multiracial backgrounds.

Inquiries about the Secure Data Center should be sent to IRiSS-info@stanford.edu

Posted by cthomsen at 09:53 AM

September 12, 2007

Jackman to head MAPSS

IRiSS Director Karen Cook today announced the appointment of Simon Jackman to direct the Methods of Analysis Program in the Social Sciences. Jackman, professor of political science with a courtesy appointment in statistics, will begin his term immediately. Cook also expressed thanks to professor Jon Krosnick, who has served as MAPSS director since its founding and has successfully launched many new programs that support social science research.

The MAPPS program was founded three years ago with the aim to enhance the quality of empirical research throughout the social sciences. One of the programs earliest contributions was to provide a central database of the methodology courses that are taught across the campus. Other activities include: a) a colloquium series that brings world-class methodologists to campus; b) a graduate certificate in methodology; and, c) training courses to prepare undergraduates to conduct field research, especially for students who have been awarded research grants through the office of the vice provost of undergraduate education and more. For additional information, go to mapss.stanford.edu

Posted by cthomsen at 10:34 PM