Understanding a Computer Science Discipline Known as Computational Politics

Computer science is so broad and diverse that its application is also in use in the political arena as an analytical skill known as computational politics. Basically, the primary step in computational politics is the mining of data about a particular political topic or agenda. The data is then computationally analyzed usually for use of politicians. They use the analyzed data as foundation of their political platform in which they are expected to present laudable solutions.

What Exactly is Computational Politics?

Computational politics is actually a cross between political and computer science as its use of analysis tools and models is mainly for political purposes. The most common of which is for political speeches and debates during campaigns. That being the case, the application of computational politics must include analysis relevant to different groups of target audience.

It’s somewhat similar to social network analysis, which uses and analyzes data derived from social media sites to present statistical information. The figures will be presented as nodes of a graph, showing interactions between users of a specific social media platform.

Like social networking analysis, computational politics also use natural language processing methods and algorithms to recognize positive or negative sentiments and in fact-checking fake news.

The first political campaigns to which computational politics had a significant impact was that of Barack Obama’s in the 2012 presidential elections. One of the data sources used for computational politics was as a Facebook app created for such purpose. Since then, computational politics created a large shift in the method of performing political science research, as it collects individual rather than aggregate information. Doing so made targeting likely voters during campaigns more efficient. Today, many firms offer analysis of information tied to registered voters, which more often than not resulted in victories.
Since computational politics analysts can classify if a post has neutral, positive or negative sentiments, a social media political campaign team can explore or exploit ways for effectively swaying political opinions in favor of a political candidate or political party.

Average Salaries of Computer Science Professionals

According to Computer Careers, graduates of a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering generally land entry jobs that on the average, pay hourly salaries of $49.25. This equates to as much as $102,450 per year.

Computation scientists in the US earn a higher than average salary of $105,112 annually. Depending on the location and educational attainment of a computational scientist, salary figures can still be higher at $144,327 per year.