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About CSS

the word "data" in front of a blue map of the world

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

What is the Center for Computational Social Science?

The Center supports research in the overlapping areas of the social sciences and computer science.

The field of computational social science exists because advances in technology  mean that there are huge amounts of digital information available that can be used for research. Traditional social science topics like democracy, security, economic growth, and inequality are being analyzed in complex ways using methods like:

  • Data mining
  • Natural language processing
  • Text analysis
  • Web scraping
  • Data Visualization
  • Machine Learning

Center Activities


Hosted yearly, our interdisciplinary conferences bring together students, faculty, and members of industry to discuss the applications of computational social science.

Workshops in programming languages

These summer workshops train graduate students in computational techniques to conduct research using massive data sets. Python, R, web scraping, machine learning, and data visualization are generally taught.

Student funding

These $10,000 fellowships allow students to start innovative research projects that go beyond the scope of a single department.

Certificate program

This series of 6 courses trains social science students to use computational techniques in their research.