Zahra Amalia Syarifah is a social sciences researcher and PhD student in sociology in UC San Diego. Zahra’s research interest focuses on religious politics, political network, social movement organization, political participation, and democratization. Zahra also uses computational techniques in the various researches that she is conducting, such as natural language processing and network analysis.


We chatted with Zahra Amalia Syarifah, a social sciences researcher and PhD student in sociology in UC San Diego, about how she utilizes computational techniques for her researches in the field of social sciences. She also told us about her journey in learning to code while completing her master’s, her researches, and the challenges she has faced as well as how she overcame them all.


0:40 - Zahra’s introduction

04:17 - Zahra’s education background

09:10 - Zahra’s thesis and how she uses computational techniques in her research

17:10 - How Zahra learned to code

19:41 - Where to learn coding

21:00 - Topics that are useful to learn for applying computational techniques in social sciences

23:46 - Data sources

25:40 - Steps in a research

27:21 - Python/R libraries that are usually used in a research

29:58 - Challenges in processing Indonesia-based data

37:37 - Other challenges

40:02 - Future plans

41:30 - Message for listeners