Computational Social Science for Business

Uniting computer science, statistics, and social science to solve real-life problems through mass collaboration on path-breaking transparent research in partnership with industry, government, and civil society.


Designing and running innovative, large-scale experiments to pursue replicable, generalizable, scalable, and ultimately useful social science. 

Building technology to detect patterns of bias and misinformation in media from across the political spectrum and spanning television, radio, social media, and the broader web.

Using cutting-edge statistical techniques to analyze police-civilian interactions, measure racial bias in policing, evaluate policing policy reforms, and improve the performance of policing agencies.

Using mobility and demographic data to train epidemiological models designed to predict the impact of policies around reopening and vaccination.


The Computational Social Science Lab was created in March 2021 as a joint venture of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Annenberg School for Communication, and the Wharton School. We seek novel, replicable insights into societally relevant problems by applying computational methods to large-scale data. Through our research infrastructure, industry partnerships, and network of collaborators, we also aim to facilitate progress in computational social science more generally.

In the News

Mapping Media Bias: How AI Powers the Computational Social Science Lab’s Media Bias Detector

The Computational Social Science Lab launched the Media Bias Detector, which allows users to visualize the quantity of news stories on a given topic in a particular time period by lean or tone.

Don’t be too quick to blame social media for America’s polarization

Studies of online echo chambers don’t paint the full picture of Americans’ political segregation. New research shows that the problem is more Fox News and MSNBC than Facebook and Twitter.

Nudge Cartography: Building a map to navigate behavioral research

Ph.D. candidate Linnea Gandhi of the Wharton School and research assistant Anoushka Kiyawat discuss the development of their team’s innovative research tool.

Want to reduce political polarization?

Start by looking beyond politics. New research from PIK University Professor Duncan Watts sheds light on how even hardliners can be swayed when coming in contact with opposing viewpoints.

Wharton Research Helps ACLU Win Fourth Amendment Case

The ACLU of Kansas is crediting research from experts at Wharton and Princeton with helping to win its federal court case against the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) over unconstitutional treatment of out-of-state drivers.

The Data Will Save Us

Or at least, that’s the hope of Wharton professor Duncan Watts, whose new initiative, the Penn Media Accountability Project, aims to expose bias in journalism by building a huge database of news for researchers and journalism watchdogs to analyze.

The Team

Computational Social Science for Business encompasses two collaborative research teams with shared interests and interrelated research agendas, lead by Professors Duncan Watts and Dean Knox.


Professor Duncan Watts - Analytics at Wharton Faculty Fellow

Duncan Watts
Stevens University Professor & twenty-third Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor

Professor Dean Knox - Analytics at Wharton Faculty Fellow

Dean Knox
Assistant Professor
Operations, Information and Decisions

Administrative Staff

Jeanne Ruane
Managing Director

Brandon Krakowsky
Director, Data Computing and Research Support

Delphine Gardiner
Senior Communications Specialist

Eric Shapiro
Research Operations Manager

Haosen Ge
Data Scientist

Miguel Rivera-Lanas
Data Scientist

Yashveer Singh Sohi
Data Scientist

Yuxuan Zhang
Data Scientist

Research Staff

Homa Hosseinmardi
Associate Research Scientist

Mark Whiting
Senior Computational Social Scientist

Jorge Barreras Cortes
Postdoctoral Researcher

James Houghton
Postdoctoral Researcher

Amir Tohidi
Postdoctoral Researcher