Rob Ackland, Tai-Quan Peng (Nanyang Technological University) and Jonathan Zhu (City University of Hong Kong) moderated the discussion panel: "Computational Methods for Communication Research: What, Why and How?" at the 2016 International Communication Association's conference in Fukuoka, Japan.
With a strong focus on communications research and social sciences, the main objective of this panel was to raise awareness among communication scholars of opportunities and risks in the computational age.
While addressing the questions highlighted in the title: What are computational methods relevant to and useful for communication research? Why do we need to adopt and embrace computational methods? How can we equip ourselves with computational methods?, the panelists from America, Asia and Europe also discussed the shortcomings and limitations of computational methods, how to blend computational methods with the traditional social science research methods, and how to deal with legal and ethical issues (e.g. personal privacy and open-source research, among others)
ICA is the largest academic association for communication scholars around the world. The panel was held on the 10th of June.