ASA Pre-conference: Computational Sociology

This one day ASA pre-conference takes place Friday, August 10, 2018. Hosted by Damon Centola.

Room 109
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Pennsylvania
3620 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104


We welcome you to join us for this ASA pre-conference focusing on a new aspect of sociological research, “Computational Sociology.”  This conference will feature experts from around the country who specialize in this new type of research, which utilizes complex computer simulations, social network analysis, big data explorations, Internet experiments, artificial intelligence, and exciting new approaches to ethnographic field work.

Schedule of Events

8:30 am – Open Breakfast Spread

9:00 am – Introduction by Damon Centola

9:30 am  Session I

25 minutes each speaker (15 min. talk, 10 min. Q+A)

  • 9:30 – 9:55 David Lazer
  • 9:55 – 10:20 Peter Bearman
  • 10:20 – 10:45 Emily Erikson
  • 10:45 – 11:10 Jessa Lingel

11:10 – 11:30 (20 min. snack break)

11:30 am  Session II

25 minutes each speaker (15 min. talk, 10 min. Q+A)

  • 11:30 – 11:55 Joscha Legewie
  • 11:55 – 12:20 Matthew Salganik
  • 12:20 – 12:45 Andrew Papachristos
  • 12:45 – 1:10 Quincy Stewart

1:10 – 2:25  (75 min. lunch break)

2:25 pm Session III

25 minutes each speaker (15 min. talk, 10 min. Q+A)

  • 2:25 – 2:50 Arnout van de Rijt
  • 2:50 – 3:15 Duncan Watts
  • 3:15 – 3:40 Marc Meredith
  • 3:40 – 4:05 Michael Kearns

4:05 – 4:20 (15 min. snack break)

4:20 – 4:30 Meagan Levinson, Senior Editor for Sociology, Princeton University Press

4:30 pm Session IV

25 minutes each speaker (15 min. talk, 10 min. Q+A)

  • 4:30 – 4:55 Yang Yang
  • 4:55 – 5:20 Joshua Becker
  • 5:20 – 5:45 Christopher Bail

5:45 – Closing Remarks

5:50 – Cocktails


David Lazer 

Professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Sciences, Northeastern University

Fake News on Twitter During the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election


Peter Bearman 

Jonathan R. Cole Professor of the Social Sciences, Columbia University

The structure of American Sociology, 1980-2017


Emily Erikson 

Associate Professor of Sociology, Yale University

The Evolution of Economic Topics


Jessa Lingel

Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Computational (Anti)social Science: Some Provocations on Interdisciplinary Collaboration


Joscha Legewie 

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Yale University

How “Big Data” Can Uncover Everyday Discrimination


Matthew Salganik 

Professor of Sociology, Princeton University

The Fragile Families Challenge


Andrew Papachristos 

Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University

The Social Structure of Police Misconduct in Chicago


Quincy Stewart 

Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University

How Many Racists? An Agent-Based Model of the Dynamics of Racial Inequality


Arnout van de Rijt

Professor of Sociology, Utrecht University 

Reputation Beats Price in Experimental Markets


Duncan Watts 

Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research

Predicting Contagion on Social Networks


Marc Meredith 

Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

One Person, One Vote: Estimating the Prevalence of Double Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections


Michael Kearns 

Professor of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania



Yang Yang

Research Assistant Professor, Northwestern University

AI + Mind Partnership and the Reproducibility Problem in Science


Joshua Becker

Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University

Collected vs. Collective Intelligence in the Wisdom of Crowds


Christopher Bail 

Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Policy

Exposure to Opposing Views on Social Media Can Increase Political Polarization: Evidence from a Large Field Experiment