This weekly workshop highlights the work of those pioneering data science analytical techniques and social science and computation methods while bringing together graduate students, post-docs, and faculty all working at the nexus of computation and big, social science questions. The workshop also allows regular participants to share works in progress for feedback, fosters robust dialogue between young scholars in these emerging fields, and showcases local scholars leading pedagogical seminars on new papers or methods.

The 2017-2018 Computational Social Science Workshop meets each Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. in Kent 120. All interested faculty and graduate students are welcome. Students in the Masters of Computational Social Science program are expected to attend and join the discussion by posting a comment on the issues page of the workshop’s public repository on GitHub.

Winter 2018


January 11: Trade, Merchants, and the Lost Cities of the Bronze Age

Ali Hortaçsu

Ralph and Mary Otis Isham Professor of Economics at The University of Chicago




January 19: Why Networks Matter to Suicide: Examining the Cultural Underpinnings of Suicide Diffusion in Adolescence

Anna Mueller

Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Human Development and the College, University of Chicago





January 26: The Wisdom of Polarized Crowds

James Evans

Director, Knowledge Lab; Professor, Sociology, University of Chicago; Senior Fellow, Computation Institute; Faculty Director, Masters Program in Computational Social Sciences, University of Chicago




February 1: Open Source Modeling for Policy Analysis and Research

Richard Evans

Senior Lecturer in Computational Social Science; Director, Open Source Macroeconomics Laboratory; Fellow, Becker Friedman Institute, University of Chicago



February 15: How the Questions We Ask Affect the Answers We Get: A Lesson from Asking Rats How They Smell

Leslie Kay 

Professor, Department of Psychology and the College, University of Chicago



February 22: Cycles of Conflict, A Century of Continuity: Using Computational Methods to Measure Why Some Ideas Succeed and Others Fail

Laura Nelson

Assistant Professor of Sociology, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Northeastern University




Fall 2017


October 5: Information, Spatial Selection, and the Statistics of Neighborhoods

Luís M. A. Bettencourt 

Professor of Ecology And Evolution, Pritzker Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at The University of Chicago              



October 12: Gender Bias in the Job Market: A Longitudinal Analysis

Ben Zhao 

Neubauer Professor of Computer Science, Co-Director at the Systems, Algorithms, Networking, And Data Lab at The University of Chicago     




October 26: Science of Science: University, Reputation, Attention, Inflation, and Novelty

Santo Fortunato 

Professor, School of Informatics and Computing, Director of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research at Indiana University - Bloomington




November 9:

Damon Centola 

Associate Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, Director of the Network Dynamics Group at the University of Pennsylvania




November 16: Causal Analysis

Guanglei Hong 

Associate Professor, Comparative Human Development, Executive Committee for Computational Social Science at The University of Chicago




From last year's archive:

Spring 2017


April 6: The Causes and Consequences of Self-Employment over the Life Cycle                                                                           

John Eric Humphries

PhD Candidate in Economics, University of Chicago 




April 13: Exploring the Ecology of Human Stories

Peter Sheridan Dodds

Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at University of Vermont 




April 20: How Segregated is Urban Consumption?

Jonathan Dingel

Professor, Chicago Booth School of Business (PhD, Economics)




April 27: Neural and Environmental Factors Related to Self-Control

Marc Berman

Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Chicago 




May 4: Network Anomalies

Michael Macy

Goldwin Smith Professor of Arts and Sciences in Sociology and Director of the Social Dynamics Laboratory, Cornell University 




May 11: Exploratory and Confirmatory Causal Inference with High Dimensional Interventions

Justin Grimmer

Associate Professor of Political Science, Stanford University 




May 25: Can We Trust Online Employer Reviews

Ioana Marinescu

Assistant Professor at University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy