IRiSS Center for Computational Social Science

As Internet and computer usage expands, so will the availability of large-scale, digitized information on social phenomena. The capacity to manage and analyze this information is increasingly important to multiple social domains and institutions in society. Computer science affords a variety of techniques to collect, manage and analyze this vast array of information, while the social sciences afford a variety of theories and understandings that can guide computational analysis. On their own, computer science can create new and useful technologies and social scientists can address important social problems and issues, but together they can apply computational techniques to analyze and explain incredibly vast and detailed information on social phenomena – in a theoretically informed way – which we could not imagine possible in the prior decade. We call this interdisciplinary field “Computational Social Science” (CSS).

In order to serve this demand, the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences has a launched a new center in computational social science, under the leadership of Professor Dan McFarland. 

The Center's dedicated website can be found at


The Center runs conferences to allow the community a chance to network and hear about current research efforts.  Upcoming conferences can be found at the CCSS Conference Page.  

Summer Workshops

IRiSS offers a series of summer workshops for graduate students to learn more about computational tools and applications used in the lab.  Find more information about this summer's upcoming workshop at: CSS Workshops.

Certificate Program

The Center for CSS is also offering a new graduate certificate, through which graduate students in the social sciences will have the opportunity to learn and demonstrate computational methods of research.  More information about that program is provided at the CSS Certificate link.

Student Research Funding

For the second year, IRiSS is pleased to offer a small grant program for graduate research assistantships.  Three students received awards last year.  Information about their winning proposals is posted as CSS Awards 2012.   Information about the Request for Proposal for the 2013 grants can be found at  Student Research Funding Opportunity.