University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Introduction to Sequence Analysis

Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
ISSR Lab, W37E Machmer Hall (3rd Floor, West Wing)

Get a taste of how sequence analysis, a set of techniques used to study social processes over time, could enrich your analytical toolbox.


This workshop provides a very basic introduction to sequence analysis in social science research. Sequence analysis, originally developed in biology to analyze strings of DNA, is a set of analytical tools that allows researchers to examine trajectories over time as the unit of analysis, i.e. to study social processes as they unfold over time. In the social sciences, sequence analysis is most often applied to study life course processes, such as labor market careers, educational careers, or family formation using quantitative data where individuals occupy qualitatively different "states" (e.g. being single, partnered, separated, divorced, widowed) at different points in time.

The workshop covers examples of how sequences analysis techniques have been used in social science research to show the range of possible applications, the type of data appropriate for sequence analysis, and the logic of Optimal Matching, the most popular technique in the sequence analysis toolbox. Furthermore, the workshop introduces basic sequence analysis tools implemented in the TraMineR package in R with hands-on examples, including sequence visualization, and longitudinal sequence characteristics. No prior knowledge of R is required for this workshop.

Click here for registration and more information.