Fall School of the Methods Center on October 12 and 13, 2023

Interdisciplinary Methods

The Methods Center at the University of Tübingen cordially invites PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers, and professors to join our Spring School. 
The theme is "Interdisciplinary Methods".

We are looking forward to an exciting and productive gathering!

Arrival in Tübingen

The workshops take place in the "Neue Aula" (Geschwister-Scholl-Platz) in the rooms 2, 4, 5, and 6.

From the train station you can take the busses 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 to the stop "Geschwister-Scholl-Platz". The "Neue Aula" is on the other site of the street of the bus stop. When you enter the building, you can find the rooms by going straight ahead and turning left before leaving the building again.

The venue will be open from 8:30.


Workshop 1: Introduction to causal inference: a machine learning perspective (in English) - Uri Shalit

Causal inference is a scientific paradigm which teaches us when and how can we use data to learn the effects of actions. It has wide applications in diverse fields, including medicine, economics, and social science. More recently, ideas from causal inference have been influential in machine learning, for example  when addressing problems such as out-of-distribution generalization and offline reinforcement learning.

In the tutorial we will aim to cover the following subjects:

  1. Identifying problems and use cases which require causal inference
  2. The mathematical languages of causality: potential outcomes and causal graphs
  3. Practical methods for estimating population-level and individual-level treatment effects, including a discussion of machine learning methods for these tasks
  4. A real-world use case in the field of healthcare 

Causal ideas in modern machine learning: domain generalization and reinforcement learning


  • Basic knowledge of probability theory: probability distributions, expectations, conditioning, etc.
  • Basic knowledge of statistics and/or machine learning: Linear and logistic regression, training and test set, mean squared error, generalization, etc.
  • Familiarity with handling data using Python and the scikit-learn library (or R)

Workshop 2: Qualitative Comparative Analysis - Judith Glaesser (in English)

Based on formal logic, set theory and Boolean algebra, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is a research method used to analyse combinations of conditions which are sufficient and/or necessary for the outcome under study. Developed by the political scientist and sociologist Charles Ragin, QCA focuses holistically on cases as combinations of factors rather than on the relationship between variables (as correlation-based methods such as regression analysis do). While it was developed in a case study tradition where just a small number of cases form the focus of an analysis, it is well suited to analysing large n datasets. Thus, while combining elements from qualitative as well as quantitative research approaches, it is genuinely innovative in transcending the qualitative-quantitative divide.

This workshop provides an introduction to QCA in its crisp, fuzzy and multi-value variants as well as practice sessions on the application of QCA using fsQCA and R software (package QCApro). Researchers are welcome to bring their own data if they wish to analyse them using QCA, but this is no requirement; practice datasets will be provided. No prior knowledge of QCA or any particular software is assumed.


The workshops will take place on October 12 and 13 in the Neue Aula (Geschwister-Scholl-Platz) in Tübingen (Rooms 2, 4, 5, and 6). The presented program is only an orientation. The specific timetable depends on the workshop and is given at a later time.

Thursday, October 12

08:30 - 09:30 Registration and coffee
09:00  - 12:00 Workshop 1 (Uri Shalit)
09:00 - 12:00 Workshop 2 (Judith Glaesser)
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch break (included in fee)
13:00 - 17:00 Workshop 1 (Uri Shalit)
13:00 - 17:00 Workshop 2 (Judith Glaesser)
19:00 Dinner

 Friday, October 13

09:00  - 12:00 Workshop 1 (Uri Shalit)
09:00 - 12:00 Workshop 2 (Judith Glaesser)
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch break (included in fee)
13:00 - 16:00 Workshop 1 (Uri Shalit)
13:00 - 16:00 Workshop 2 (Judith Glaesser)


If you are interested in joining, please write an email to attaching the filled out registration form.
Please be aware that we fill the spots (20 per workshop) in the workshops in the order of the registration.

The fee for each workshop is 90€ and it includes catering for the breaks and for lunch. On Thursday evening we offer to go to dinner together at one's own expense.


If you have any questions please write an email to


Organizing Committee:

Augustin Kelava

Holger Brandt

Tim Schaffland