Analytic Methods in Social Ecology

Mag. Christoph Plutzar, Dr. Julia K. Steinberger

contact: christoph.plutzar -at- & julia.steinberger -at-


References and links

Links for class excercises and documents
  1. Original data files
  2. Team1 Julia
  3. Team2 Hauke
  4. Team3 Miquel
  5. Team4
  6. Team5
  7. Team6

Dates, times & locations:

  • March 5th 2010: Bibliothek (5th floor of 29 Schottenfeldgasse), 9-13
  • March 19th 2010: Seminarraum 5 (5th floor of 29 Schottenfeldgasse), 9-17
  • March 26th 2010: Seminarraum 5, 9-17
  • April 30th 2010: Seminarraum 5, 9-17
  • May 28th 2010: Seminarraum 5, 9-17


March 5th:
· Introduction to class (form groups, where to find information, do and save class work). (JKS)
· Beginning data handling and analysis in excel.
o Basic data types (CP)
o Unit conversion, extensive and intensive variables. (JKS)
o Basic statistical measure: mean, variance, standard deviation, coefficient of variation and so on (CP)

March 19th: Visualization and presentation of data: do's and don'ts. Appropriate use of different types of graphs. Guidelines for charts and tables for presentations and publications. linear vs. logarithmic scales: what is a logarithmic scale? When should it be used for representation, or for data analysis, for intensive or extensive variables?
Time-series data: calculating growth rates, graphical representation of time series data (indexation).

March 26th: introduction to computer language Octave for data analysis. Basics of scripting languages. Assigning and manipulating variables in Octave. Reading in data (concept of NA), manipulating and graphing data, labeling data points. Log and linear plotting in Octave. Saving work as a script. Discussion of differences between excel and Octave: when to use which?

April 30th: Linear regression: explanation of concept and method. Examples of linear regressions: lin-lin, log-lin, log-log. How to plot the results of a log log regression in excel. Linear regression in Octave, in linear and log space, understanding and plotting results. When is a result significant? Concept of co-linearity of variables, multiple variable regression in Octave, interpretation of results.

May 28th: Introduction to Geographical Information Systems.