Contributions to this edition of Computer Methods have been extensively revised and contain much new material—updating the proceedings of a conference held in 1964 at the Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard University. In this conference social scientists experienced in computer use compared notes on the problems and benefits encountered in their studies with beginners in computer analysis. Initiated by the preparation and release of the 1-1,000 sample tape of the U.S. census, the conference provided a means by which social scientists, deluged with data, could master the great influx of information.
Three major themes emerge in this collection of papers: control over the computer processes by the social scientists (a unifying theme throughout the book), the implications of time (complex feedback relationships), and the level of aggregation (individual and aggregate theories) in the interpretation of social science data. The book raises important substantive issues as social scientists and other "applications" people attempt to develop procedures for greater control over the computer.