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

Professor Knox Recipient of 2021 NOMIS & Science Young Explorer Award

Dean Knox’s prize-winning essay illustrates the value of applying new tools and statistical techniques to imperfect data to reveal the extent and severity of racial bias in policing.

Are Teams Better Than Individuals at Getting Work Done?

Wharton’s Duncan Watts talks with Wharton Business Daily on SiriusXM about his research on whether teams or individuals are better at accomplishing tasks.

Is the Algorithm to Blame?

The past two election cycles have drawn new attention to the internet’s impact on democracy. Homa Hosseinmardi, Associate Research Scientist at the CSSLab, investigates YouTube’s role in online radicalization.

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

Valery Yakubovich
Executive Director

Rachel Mariman
Research Project Manager

Emma Arsekin
Communications Specialist

Tuti Gomoka
Senior Research Coordinator

Yingquan Li
Research Data Engineer

Miguel Rivera-Lanas
Data Scientist

Eric Shapiro
Research Operations Manager

Research Staff

Homa Hosseinmardi
Associate Research Scientist

James Houghton
Postdoctoral Researcher

Mark Whiting
Postdoctoral Researcher