Winter 2021

March 4: Mis- and Disinformation Dynamics in Critical Conversations


Renee Diresta, Research Manager, Stanford Internet Observatory

This week’s suggested readings: Executive Summary of The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Election (Center for an Informed Public, Digital Forensic Research Lab, Graphika, & Stanford Internet Observatory, 2021); Additional related reading: Center for an Informed Public, Digital Forensic Research Lab, Graphika, & Stanford Internet Observatory (2021). The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Election. Stanford Digital Repository: Election Integrity Partnership. v2.0.0


February 25: (In)citing Action to Realize an Equitable Future


Danielle Bassett, J. Peter Skirkanich Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Departments of Bioengineering, Electrical & Systems Engineering, Physics & Astronomy, Neurology, and Psychiatry

Suggested readings: Dworkin, J. D., Linn, K. A., Teich, E. G., Zurn, P., Shinohara, R. T., & Bassett, D. S. (2020). The extent and drivers of gender imbalance in neuroscience reference lists. Nature neuroscience, 23(8), 918-926. and Bertolero, M. A., Dworkin, J. D., David, S. U., Lloreda, C. L., Srivastava, P., Stiso, J., … & Bassett, D. S. (2020 Preprint). Racial and ethnic imbalance in neuroscience reference lists and intersections with gender. BioRxiv. Additional readings: Dworkin, J., Zurn, P., & Bassett, D. S. (2020). (In) citing action to realize an equitable future. Neuron, 106(6), 890-894.


February 18: Resilience to Online Censorship


Margaret (Molly) Roberts, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California San Diego

Suggested readings: Chang, K. C., Hobbs, W. R., Roberts, M. & Steinert-Threlkeld, Z.(2020). Crisis is a Gateway to Censored Information: The Case of Coronavirus in China. 21st Century China Center Research Paper Series, Paper No. 2021-01. Available at SSRN: and Pan, J., & Roberts, M. E. (2020). Censorship’s Effect on Incidental Exposure to Information: Evidence From Wikipedia. SAGE Open, 10(1), 2158244019894068 and Hobbs, W. R., & Roberts, M. E. (2018). How sudden censorship can increase access to information. American Political Science Review, 112(3), 621-636.


February 11: Online Rumors, Misinformation and Disinformation: The Perfect Storm of COVID-19


Kate Starbird, Associate Professor, Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, University of Washington

This week’s suggested readings: Methodology: Maddock, J., Starbird, K., Al-Hassani, H. J., Sandoval, D. E., Orand, M., & Mason, R. M. (2015, February). Characterizing online rumoring behavior using multi-dimensional signatures. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM conference on computer supported cooperative work & social computing (pp. 228-241) and Content: Starbird, K., Spiro, E., & West, J. (2020, May 9) This Covid-19 Misinformation Went Viral. Here’s What We Learned. The Washington Post. 


February 4: Chinese Online Discussion Around Democracy in the 2010s


Yinxian Zhang, Assistant Professor of Sociology, CUNY Queens College. 

Suggested reading is a working paper that has been distributed to the MACSS listserv and is available by request from Sanja Miklin ().


January 28: #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice


Brooke Foucault Welles, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Northeastern University

Suggested readings: 1) Jackson, S. J., & Foucault Welles, B. (2015). Hijacking# myNYPD: Social media dissent and networked counterpublics. Journal of Communication, 65(6), 932-952.; 2) Gallagher, R. J., Stowell, E., Parker, A. G., & Foucault Welles, B. (2019). Reclaiming stigmatized narratives: The networked disclosure landscape of# MeToo. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 3(CSCW), 1-30.; and 3) additional reading: Jackson, S. J., Bailey, M., & Welles, B. F. (2020). # HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice. MIT Press.


January 21: The Curse of Abundance: Understanding and Managing Personal Effects in the Digital Age


Chris KanichAssociate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago

Suggested readings: Khan, M. T., Hyun, M., Kanich, C., & Ur, B. (2018, April). Forgotten but not gone: Identifying the need for longitudinal data management in cloud storage. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-12). A draft of a paper that has been distributed to the MACSS listserv and is available by request from Sanja Miklin (


January 14: Artificial Intelligence for Social Good: When Machines Learn Human-Like Biases from Data


Aylin Caliskan, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, School of Engineering & Applied Science, George Washington University

Suggested readings: Caliskan, A., Bryson, J. J., & Narayanan, A. (2017). Semantics derived automatically from language corpora contain human-like biases. Science, 356(6334), 183-186 and Steed, R. & Caliskan, A. (2021). Image Representations Learned With Unsupervised Pre-Training Contain Human-like Biases. ACM FAccT; Additional readings: Guo, W. & Caliskan, A. (2020). Detecting Emergent Intersectional Biases: Contextualized Word Embeddings Contain a Distribution of Human-like Biases and Toney, A. & Caliskan, A. (2020). ValNorm: A New Word Embedding Intrinsic Evaluation Method Reveals Valence Biases are Consistent Across Languages and Over Decades.


Autumn 2020


November 19: Pandemic Policymaking


Philip Waggoner, Assistant Instructional Professor in the Masters in the Computational Social Science program and a Political Scientist

Suggested readings: Waggoner, 2020. ‘Pandemic Policymaking: Learning the Lower Dimensional Manifold of Congressional Responsiveness’ and Waggoner, 2020. ‘A Computational Exploration of the Evolution of Governmental Policy Responses to Epidemics Before and During the Era of COIVD-19’


November 12: Clustering Countries-Improving Measurement in Comparative Political Research


Brooke Luetgert, Computational Scientist - SSD Research & Computing Center; Lecturer in Digital Studies, University of Chicago

Suggested readings: Luetgert, 2020. ‘Clustering Countries-Improving Measurement in Comparative Political Research’


November 5: Children as a Solution to Explore Exploitations


Alison Gopnik, Professor of Psychology, University of California at Berkeley

Suggested readings: Gopnik 2020. ‘Childhood as a solution to explore-exploit tensions’ Phil. Trans. R. Soc, B 375: 20190502


October 29: Why We Don't Click: Interrogating the Relationship Between Viewing and Clicking in Social Media Contexts by Exploring the 'Non-Click'


Nicole B. Ellison, Karl E. Weick Collegiate Professor of Information in the School of Information, University of Michigan

Suggested readings: Ellison, Trieu, Schoenebeck, Brewer, & Israni 2020. ‘Why We Don’t Click: Interrogating the Relationship Between Viewing and Clicking in Social Media Contexts by Exploring the ’Non-Click’’

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October 22: Experimentation and Incrementalism: The Impact of the Adoption of A/B Testing


Berk Can Deniz, Doctoral Student, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Macro Organizational Behavior Goup, Stanford University

Suggested readings: Berk Can Deniz 2020. ‘Experimentation and Incrementalism: The Impact of the Adoption of A/B Testing’


October 15: Rethinking Depression in Cities: Evidence and Theory for Lower Rates in Larger Urban Areas


Andrew J. Stier, Doctoral Student in the Integrative Neuroscience Program, University of Chicago.

Marc G. Berman, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology; Co-Director, Masters in Computational Social Science Program; and Director of the Environmental Neuroscience Lab.

Suggested readings: Andrew J. Stier et al. 2020. ‘Rethinking Depression in Cities: Evidence and Theory for Lower Rates in Larger Urban Areas.’


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October 8 - The Inka Writing System: An Exploration of Khipu Sign Conventions (Recording)


Jon Clindaniel, Assistant Instructional Professor in Computational Social Science, University of Chicago

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October 1 - Fall Welcome Mixer 


The Computational Social Science Workshop at the University of Chicago cordially invites you to attend this week’s event. We welcome the new class of MACSS students, greet our returning second year's, and invite all faculty and guests to mingle with our students, discuss big ideas, and celebrate the first Computation Workshop of the academic year.


Spring 2020


May 28 - Social Bootstrapping of Economic Value


Lynette Shaw, Assistant Professor of Complex Systems, Post-Doctoral Scholar, Michigan Society of Fellows, University of Michigan

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May 21 - Gender Stereotypes Reflected in the Distributional Structure of 25 Languages


Molly Lewis, Research Scientist - Psychology and Social Decision Sciences Departments, Carnegie Mellon University


May 14 - Protecting Privacy in a World Filled with Smart Devices


Heather Zheng, Neubauer Professor of Computer Science, University of Chicago


May 7 - The Structure of U.S. College Networks on Facebook


Bogdan State, Data Scientist Facebook


April 30 - Human-in-the-Loop Machine Learning


Robert Munro, Author, "Human-in-the-Loop Machine Learning" 


April 9 - Drawings of Real-World Scenes during Free Recall Reveal Detailed Object and Spatial Information in Memory


Wilma Bainbridge, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago

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Winter 2020


March 6 - How Exploitation and Exploration Shape the Knowledge Space


Hyejin Youn, Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management


February 27 - Modeling Context-Dependent Latent Effect Heterogeneity with Applications to Study Public Political Polarization


Diogo Ferrari, Assistant Instructional Professor in Computational Social Science, University of Chicago

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February 6 - School, Studying, And Smarts: The Gender of Education Across 80 Years of American Print Media, 1930-2009


Andrei Boutyline, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Michigan

Andrei Boutyline

January 30th - Network Structures of Collective Intelligence: The Contingent Benefits of Group Discussion


Joshua BeckerPostdoctoral Fellow, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems, Northwestern University

Joshua Becker

January 23rd - Toward a Science of Failure


Dashun Wang, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations - Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Dashun Wang

January 16th - Designing For Trust: A Behavioral Framework For Sharing Economy Platforms


Paolo Parigi  - Lead Trust Scientist - Airbnb

Natã Barbosa - Phd Candidate - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, School of Information Sciences

Paolo Parigi

Natã Barbosa

January 9th - Network Science or Applied Graph Theory? Examining the Network of Indirect Collaboration in a Department of Mathematics


Moses Boudourides, Visiting Professor of Mathematics - New York University Abu Dhabi; Faculty - Northwestern University School of Professional Studies Data Science Program

Moses Boudourides

Autumn 2019


October 3rd - Fall Welcome Mixer


Join us as we welcome the new class of MACSS students, greet our returning second years, and invite all faculty and guests to mingle with our students, discuss big ideas, celebrate the first Computation Workshop of the academic year in our new room, and propose speakers, topics, and organizations for the workshop.

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October 10th - Big Data in Medicine: A panel of distinguished University of Chicago faculty


Chaired by Jeremy Greene, a renowned historian of medicine (John Hopkins School of Medicine)

Jeremy Greene



October 17th - Science and Technology Advance through Surprise


James Evans, Professor of Sociology, Director of the Knowledge Lab, Faculty Director of the Masters Program in Computational Social Science, and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, University of Chicago

James Evans



October 24th - Machine Politics: A Roundtable


Fred Turner, Professor of Communication (Stanford University), Adrian Johns, Professor of History (UChicago) & Joel Isaac, Professor of Social Thought (UChicago)

Fred Turner

October 31st - Calling Bullshit: Data Reasoning in a Digital World


Jevin West, Associate Professor - Information School, University of Washington & Carl Bergstrom, Professor of Computational Biology and Behavior, University of Washington

Jevin West

Carl Bergstrom

November 7th - How to Measure Legislative District Compactness If You only Know it When You See it


Gary King, the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University

Gary King

November 14th - Islamophobia and Media Portrayals of Muslim Women: A Computational Text Analysis of US News Coverage


Rochelle Terman, Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Political Science, University of Chicago

Spring 2019

April 4th - Amos Golan (Event Co-sponsored by the Quantitative Methods Committee)

Professor of Economics, Director of the Info-Metrics Institute, American University

Information, Modeling, and Inference: The Info-Metrics Framework

Amos Golan

April 11th - Abdullah Almaatouq

PhD Student and Research Assistant, Computational Science & Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The Wisdom of the Network

Abdullah Almaatouq

April 18th - MACSS Student Conference

An Opportunity for Second Year MACSS Students to Present Their Thesis Research

2nd Year Lightning Talks

NOTE: Special Time and Location: Thursday, 5-7pm - Social Science Research Building 122

MACSS Student Conference

April 25th - Andrey Rzhetsky

Professor, Department of Medicine; Professor, Department of Human Genetics; Senior Fellow, Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, University of Chicago

Computational Adventures with Large Datasets

Andrey Rzhetsky

May 2nd - Sihua (Adrienne) Hu

Post-doctoral Fellow, School of Education and Policy, Northwestern University

Teachers in Social Media: Social Science Research in the Fifth Estate

Sihua (Adrienne) Hu

May 16th - Tom Griffiths

Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science, Princeton University

Adventures in Scaling Psychology

Tom Griffiths

May 23rd - Stephanie Palmer

Assistant Professor, Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago

Understanding Vision through the Lens of Prediction

Stephanie Palmer


Winter 2019

January 10th - Ed Awh

Professor, Department of Psychology, The Institute for Mind and Biology, and the Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Human Behavior, University of Chicago

Rhythmic Brain Activity Tracks the timing and Content of Online Spatial Representations

Ed Awh

January 17th - Nicolas Masse

Postdoctoral Scholar and Staff Scientist, Department of Neurobiology, University of Chicago

Two Stories at the Intersection Between Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence

Nicolas Masse

January 24th - Adam Bonica

Associate Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

Forecasting Congressional Election Outcomes and Legislative Voting Behavior Using Campaign Finance Data 

Adam Bonica

February 14th - Monica Rosenberg

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Psychology, Yale University

Predicting Attention and Working Memory from Functional Brain Activity across Development

Monica Rosenberg

February 21st - Tor Wager

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Colorado Boulder

Neuroimaging of Pain and Emotion: Computation, Representation, and Regulation

Tor Wager

February 28th - Steven Durlauf

Steans Professor of Educational Policy at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago

Some Economics of Social Interactions

Steven Durlauf

Autumn 2018

October 4th - Mixer with CSS Faculty


Mixer with CSS Faculty

October 11th - Marc Berman

Faculty Director of the Masters in Computational Social Science Program; Assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Chicago

The Fractal Brain and Cognitive Effort

Marc Berman

October 18th - Zizi Papacharissi

Professor and Department Head of Communication, Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago

Affective Publics: News Storytelling, Sentiment and Technology

Zizi Papacharissi

November 8th - Charlie Catlett

Senior Computer Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy

Understanding Cities through Measurement and Embedded Intelligence

Charlie Catlett

November 29th - Lillian Lee

Professor, Department of Computer Science and Department of Information Science, Cornell University 

Influence: Watch your Language? Analyzing Phrasing Effects in Movies, Twitter and Changemyview

Lillian Lee

Spring 2018


April 5: Exposure to Opposing Views Can Increase Political Polarization: Evidence From a Large-Scale Field Experiment on Social Media

Chris Bail

Douglas and Ellen Lowey Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, Duke University



Chris Bail


April 12: When Less is More: Experimental Evidence on Information Delivery During India's Demonetization

Ben Golub

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


Ben Golub



April 26: Online Field Experiments: Studying Social Interactions in Context        

Paolo Parigi

Lead Trust Scientist, Airbnb



Paolo Parigi


May 4: Radical markets & Democracy in the Information Age (11:00am - 1:00pm in Saieh 203)

Authors: Eric Posner & Glen Weyl    

Discussants: Karin Knorr, Steve LevittJennifer Pitts, and Andrew Chien



Radical markets & Democracy in the Information Age


May 10: Activity Space and Neighborhood Social Context

Kathleen Cagney

Professor of Sociology and the College; Director, Population Research Center, University of Chicago


Kathleen Cagney


May 17: Cities, Collective Knowhow, and Economic Development

Andres Gomez

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Growth Lab, Center for International Development, Harvard University


Andres Gomez


May 24: Embedding Relational Data Using Pytorch

Bogdan State

Data Scientist, Facebook


Bogdan State

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


Ali Hortaçsu


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


Anna Mueller



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


James Evans


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


Richard Evans


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


Leslie Kay


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



Laura Nelson

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              

Luís M. A. Bettencourt   


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     


Ben Zhao


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


Santo Fortunato


November 9:

Damon Centola 

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


Damon Centola


November 16: Causal Analysis

Guanglei Hong 

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


Guanglei Hong


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 


John Eric Humphries


April 13: Exploring the Ecology of Human Stories

Peter Sheridan Dodds

Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at University of Vermont 


Peter Sheridan Dodds


April 20: How Segregated is Urban Consumption?

Jonathan Dingel

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


Jonathan Dingel


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

Marc Berman

Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Chicago 


Marc Berman


May 4: Network Anomalies

Michael Macy 

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


Michael Macy   


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

Justin Grimmer

Associate Professor of Political Science, Stanford University 


Justin Grimmer


May 25: Can We Trust Online Employer Reviews

Ioana Marinescu

Assistant Professor at University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy


Ioana Marinescu