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Duncan Watts to Discuss Computational Social Science at CS+X Colloquium

The event will take place on Dec. 2

Over the past 15 years, the remarkable increase of social and behavioral data has led to the emergence of the new field of computational social science. While this field has yielded many exciting developments, surprisingly little progress has been made to answer questions concerning systemic risk in financial systems, problem solving in complex organizations, and the dynamics of epidemics or social movements.

Duncan WattsAs a part of Northwestern Engineering’s CS+X colloquium series, Duncan Watts, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, will discuss how the field of computational social science can reach its full potential. The event is co-sponsored by the Kellogg School of Management.

“Computational Social Science: Exciting Progress and Future Challenges” will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 in the ITW Classroom of the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center.

Watts is a founding member of the Microsoft Research Lab – New York City, which investigates computational social science, algorithmic economics, prediction markets, and machine learning. He is also the Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. Prior to joining Microsoft Research, Watts was a professor of sociology at Columbia University and a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research.

The author of three books and many papers, Watts has received multiple awards for his work, including the 2009 German Physical Society Young Scientist Award for Socio- and Econophysics, the 2013 Lagrange-CRT Foundation Prize for Complexity Science, and the 2014 Everett M. Rogers Award.

Hosted by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the CS+X colloquium series defines challenges and opportunities for both computer science and other disciplines as the scope and nature of computational thinking continue to evolve.