Carnegie Mellon University

The Institute for Complex Social Dynamics studies large-scale complex social phenomena.

The Institute brings together scholars at Carnegie Mellon University who develop and apply mathematical and computational models. Through its research initiatives, the Institute’s scholars develop novel models of social phenomena that illuminate and intervene in social systems. Our educational initiatives help to disseminate these results, and deepen our understanding of our complex social world.

We study many types of social systems across time. Much of our current social life is embedded in complex social systems; systems as diverse as twitter, criminal organizations, modern scientific practice, and economic institutions. Beyond our modern life, our insights help us understand historical systems like the origin of human cooperation and the social dynamics of the French revolution. By finding common underlying processes and dynamics, our results can often show similarities across remarkably different systems, including connections between human and non-human social organization.

The Institute is housed in Carnegie Mellon’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, but our research spans the whole of the university.