Welcome to BigSurv20

BigSurv20 will be VIRTUALLY every Friday this November and early December: We've got great news for you! BigSurv20 will take place online this year.

Registration: Attendance of all BigSurv20 conference events is free of charge, however, you will need to create an account to register and access the virtual conference. Once you've created your account you are automatically registered. Be sure to add [email protected] to your contacts to ensure that you receive emails related to BigSurv20.


When: Fridays in November and December 2020. The dates are November 6, 13, 20, 27 and December 4. We will have parallel sessions each Friday starting at 4:00pm Central European Time/10:00am Eastern Time U.S and 5:45pm Central European Time/11:45am Eastern Time U.S.

Where: Anywhere you want to be at the time since BigSurv20 will take place online.

Cost: Free of charge (!!). Attendees will need to register to access the virtual conference materials. Registration is now open. See the "Register for the BigSurv20 Conference" link above.

Program: The full program is online here. To give you a hint of the virtual wonderfulness being planned for you, the BigSurv20 conference will have the following format:

  • BigSurv20 will kickoff with a virtual live event on Friday, November 6th. Expect an exciting keynote address by Dr. Albert Ali Salah, Professor of Social and Affective Computing in the Department of Information and Computing Sciences at Utrecht University. The keynote will be followed by an overview of the exciting events planned for the following four Fridays and the first set of parallel sessions.
  • On Fridays, November 6, 13, 20, and 27, we will present parallel sessions focusing on special topics that are at the intersection of big data and survey science.
  • On Friday (do you notice the "Friday" theme here?), December 4th, we will close the conference with a special, live closing event including a plenary session on the topic of data and privacy and our BigSurv20 Highlights/WrapUp Show.

Sessions: Each BigSurv20 paper/demo session will be accessible via Zoom and consist of prerecorded talks and a live Q&A with the presenters during the last 15 minutes of each session. So even if you decide to watch presentations at your own leisure, be sure to join the live Q&A of your favorite sessions with the presenters. Presentation slides and recordings will be made available to registered BigSurv20 attendees as permitted by the presenters. I.e., if there is no link to the recording/slides available, these will only be streamed during the session itself.

BigSurv20 Overview: Following a very successful conference in Barcelona, Spain, in 2018, BigSurv is an opportunity for computer and data scientists with an interest in social science and data collection and for social scientists, survey methodologists, statisticians and others with an interest in computer and data science to meet, interact, exchange ideas, collaborate, and learn from each other.

Continuing to explore new statistical frontiers at the intersection of big data and survey science. The goal of the conference is to improve the production of statistics on topics with a broader relevance and impact for society. The conference will combine different perspectives stemming from computer science and social sciences:

  • From expertly designed data carefully measuring human behaviors, attitudes, and opinions to organic, electronic data capturing massive quantities of observations about our everyday lives in real-time.
  • From generating summary statistics describing entire populations to leveraging fine-grained data informing the context of each observation.
  • From the sampling of individuals within populations to considering the implications of “N=all.”
  • From applying the Total Survey Error paradigm to new forms of data and adopting a total statistical uncertainty framework that will be needed to encompass the new quality issues associated with Big Data.
  • From doing intensive fieldwork by traveling around the country, to leveraging the power of Big data harvesting online.

Why will BigSurv20 not take place in person? The BigSurv20 organizing committee has been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 throughout the world over the last few months. There remains uncertainty about how the situation will develop in the Netherlands and around the world, and it is likely that disruptions will continue well into the latter part of 2020. With the safety of our participants as our main priority, we have decided that BigSurv20 will not be held in-person. Simply put, it would be very hard to properly implement social distancing measures and guarantee everyone’s well-being throughout the conference.

What has changed in the transition from in-person to virtual? While we are extremely excited about our plans for the virtual BigSurv20, the change in format has implications for other events at the conference:

  • The student paper conference will still take place and has a new deadline. The deadline for paper submissions is July 31, 2020. Please see the BigSurv20 student paper award webpage for more information.
  • The Big Data Challenge will be hosted in a slightly different format. Please see the Big Data Challenge webpage for more information.
  • As the conference will be entirely online and free of charge, we will no longer be awarding travel scholarships.
  • The short courses are cancelled.

As always, we encourage you to please email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns. We will keep you updated through this website and our BigSurv20 Twitter feed (@BigSurv20, #BigSurv20). Also, you can subscribe to receive updates by using this link to register for BigSurv20 updates.

Antje Kirchner – Chair of the BigSurv20 Scientific Committee
Peter Lugtig – Chair of the Local Organizing Committee