Computational Social Science (CSS) is the interdisciplinary science of complex social systems and their investigation through computational modeling and related techniques.
The aim of the Computational Social Science Program is to provide our students with the relevant tools and skill set to investigate this new and exciting field through our unique degree programs. If you want to keep up to date with the CSS Program, please visit our Facebook page.
On this page you will find information about and links to:
The faculty and students within the Program have a diverse set of research interests focused around complex social systems, computational modeling and related techniques. The overall field has become known as Computational Social Science. Research areas include design science, economics, geography, geographical information systems (GIS), public policy, political science, network science, cognitive science, international relations and anthropology.
One of the main tools we use for our studies is that of agent-based modeling often utilizing our in-house multi-agent simulation toolkit: MASON.
Agent-based models have been developed to investigate a range of complex human and social systems from the bottom up, such as:
- The rise and fall of civilizations both in Northern America and Inner Asia which are applicable to the rise of social complexity more generally;
- Computational economics;
- Disease modeling;
- Tax compliance;
- Cultural dynamics and environmental change;
- Political instability and ecological dynamics in Eastern Africa;
- Cognitive modeling within agent-based models;
- The potential of ABM in virtual worlds.
In addition we are constantly striving to solve some of the challenges in this field as well as building evidence-based models which are quantitatively based.
Other work within the Program include power law analysis applied to conflict and civil violence, social network analysis, big data analysis, and using GPUs for large-scale agent-based models.
Funding for this research comes from a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Department of Defense and the research is channeled back into the courses that we offer.
Further research applying the diverse range of skills and expertise of faculty and students can be seen in the Center for Social Complexity.
CSS Core Faculty
Co-director, Computational Public Policy Lab
Computational social science and public policy
Director, Center for Social Complexity
Quantitative, mathematical, and simulation models applied to complex human and social systems
Agent-based modeling, GIscience, Urban Geography, Computational Social Science
Land use, development, human-environment systems, and complex adaptive systems
The aim of the Computational Social Science program is to provide our students with the relevant tools and skill set to investigate this new and exciting field through our unique degree programs.
The Computational Social Sciences section of the department administers the following programs:
Computational Social Science PhD program
This program is a more advanced option that is designed to train graduate students to be professional computational social scientists in academia, government, and/or business. Learn More
MAIS CSS Concentration
This concentration augments those in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program. The intractability of many social problems calls for the new approaches provided by computational social science. Learn More
Graduate Certificate in Computational Social Science
This program is designed for students who seek training in computer simulation and related computational methods for analyzing social systems and processes. Learn More
CSS Graduate Coordinator