Carnegie Mellon University

Center for Informed Democracy & Social - cybersecurity (IDeaS)

CMU's center for disinformation, hate speech and extremism online

IDeaS Center for Informed Democracy & Social-cybersecurity

The IDeaS Summer Institute is an intense, hands-on training camp that teaches participants about the theories, methods, and tools to identify and combat disinformation, hate speech, and extremism online. This institute is aimed at graduate students, faculty, and personnel from industry, education and government who want to learn more about social-cybersecurity, an emerging field of research and policy.  

This is an in-depth workshop on the state-of-the-art in social-cybersecurity.  Topics covered include: how social media is used to spread disinformation, hate-speech and extremism online, types of technologies used to identify, combat, or measure the impact of these influence campaigns, and how communities can be more resilient in the face of such campaigns.  Sessions will include seminars and technology demonstrations.  Additional material for those who want to learn several of the key tools will be available.


June 10-15, 2021
Livestreamed sessions will be recorded for other time zones.


Date Time (EDT) Title (available descriptions linked) Instructor
Thursday, June 10 3:00-4:30 Intro to Social-Cybersecurity Kathleen M. Carley
Thursday, June 10 4:45-6:15 Influence Campaigns in Social Media
Kathleen M. Carley
Friday, June 11 3:00-4:30 Modeling and Analysis of Information Spread over Multi-layer Networks
Osman Yağan
Friday, June 11 4:45-6:15 Applying Social Psychology to Cybersecurity Jason Hong

June 12

Technical Day

Pre-recorded tutorials with live Q&A. Led by CMU graduate students


11:00-11:50 Bot Detection Tom Magelinski
12:00-12:50 Hate Speech on Social Networks Joshua Uyheng
1:00-1:50 Sentiment/Affect Mining Analysis Lynnette Ng
2:00-2:50 ORA Jeffrey Reminga
3:00-3:50 ORA & BEND manuvers Janice Blane
4:00-4:50 Data from Reddit Christine Lepird
5:00-5:50 Collecting Twitter Data Ramon Villa-Cox
Monday, June 14 1:00-2:30 AI & Policy- Classification of online media Conrad Tucker
Monday, June 14 2:45-4:15

Success in the Marketplace of Ideas

Daniel Oppenheimer

Monday, June 14 4:30-6:00 Understanding Our Ethical Obligations David Danks
Tuesday, June 15 1:00-2:30 Efficient Over-time Analysis of Social Network Data Sets Rick Carley
Tuesday, June 15 2:45-4:15 Signal detection in Cyberspace Alex Davis

*Agenda is subject to change 

Where to register:


Registration fees:

Registration Type

IDeaS Summer Institute only

Combined IDeaS and CASOS Summer Institute

Industry $2,500.00 $3,500.00
Government/Military (with ID) $2,000.00 $3,000.00
Faculty/Postdocs $800.00 $1,000.00

*Please note: We accept checks, VISA and MasterCard for payment. Please make checks out to Carnegie Mellon University.

Registration Scholarships:

There are a limited number of scholarships for PhD students who are women and/or minorities from the US. Conference participants can apply for Graduate Student Scholarships during registration. Level of participation in the conference, need, and diversity will be considered when reviewing applications. Maximum scholarship awarded is $300 to offset cost of attendance. 

Participation is open to graduate students, faculty, and personnel from industry, education and government.
There are a limited number of scholarships for PhD students who are women and/or minorities from the US. Conference participants can apply for Graduate Student Scholarships during registration. Level of participation in the conference, need, and diversity will be considered when reviewing applications. Maximum scholarship awarded is $300 to offset cost of attendance.

The hands-on curriculum illustrates how to use these techniques to study social, organizational and policy issues. Available session descriptions can be found here. Topics include: 

  • Introduction to Social-Cybersecurity
  • Success in the Marketplace of Ideas
  • Applying Social Psychology to Cybersecurity
  • AI & Policy- Classification of online media
  • Modeling and Analysis of Information Spread over Multi-layer Networks
  • Understanding our Ethical Obligations
  • Efficient Over-tinme Analysis of Social Network Data Sets. 
  • Signal Detection in Cyberspace
  • Influence Campaigns in Social Media

Technical Day tutorials are 50 minute sessions led by CMU graduate students and staff. They will be divided between the tutorial presentation and a Q&A. The main presentation may be live or pre-recorded, but all Q&A sessions will be live.

Technical Day Tutorials will be held on the following subjects:

Bot Detection
Hate Speech on Social Networks
Sentiment/affect Mining Analysis
ORA & BEND Manuvers
Collecting Data from Reddit
Collecting Twitter Data

The IDeaS Summer Institute will be run at the same time as the CASOS Summer Institute, a complimentary event run June 7-13. CASOS SI will provide a hands-on introduction to network analytics and visualization from a combined social-network, network-science, link-analysis and dynamic network analysis perspective. Participants will be able to register for one or both Summer Institutes. For complete access to both Summer Institutes, select the combined registration option.

Summer Institute Teaching

CMU Faculty


Kathleen M. Carley, PhD
Director, Center for IDeaS

Kathleen M. Carley is a professor in the School of Computer Science in the department - Institute for Software Research - at Carnegie Mellon University. She also has courtesy appointments at Engineering and Public Policy , Heinz School, Electrical and Computer Engineering and GSIA.

She has an H.D. from the University of Zurich in Business, Economics and Informatics; a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Sociology; and two S.B.’s from Massachusetts Institute of Technology – one in Political Science and one in  Economics.

She is the director of the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS), a university wide interdisciplinary center that brings together network analysis, computer science, and organization science ( and the director of the Center for Informed Democracy and Social-cybersecurity (IDeaS). 

Kathleen M. Carley's research combines cognitive science, social networks and computer science to address complex social and organizational problems. Her specific research areas are dynamic network analysis, computational social and organization theory, information and disinformation diffusion, adaptation and evolution, text mining, and the impact of telecommunication technologies and policy on communication, disease contagion and response within and among groups particularly in disaster or crisis situations. She and her lab have developed infrastructure tools for analyzing large scale dynamic networks, social media analytics tools and various agent-based simulation systems. These tools include: ORA, a graphical and statistical toolkit for analyzing and visualizing social networks, semantic networks and any high dimensional networks. AutoMap, a text-mining system for extracting semantic networks from texts and then cross-classifying them using an organizational ontology into the underlying social, knowledge, resource and task networks. BioWar a city-scale dynamic-network agent-based model for understanding the spread of disease and illness due to natural epidemics, chemical spills, and weaponized biological attacks. OrgAhead an agent-based model of organizational performance.  And Construct, an agent-based model of information spread and belief formation. 

She is the founding co-editor of the journal Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory which she now co-edits with Dr. Terrill Frantz. She has co-edited several books in the computational organizations and dynamic network area.  She has also served on numerous panels for the National Academy of Science.


Rick Carley, PhD
Electrical and Computer Engineering

L. Richard Carley joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 1984 and has been a major contributor to the research and educational missions of that department. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, Carley received his S.B. (1976), S.M. (1978) and Ph.D. (1984) in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been a key member of the Data Storage Systems Center (DSSC), where he served as associate director for electronic subsystems. He has also been a long standing contributor in the area of analog circuit design most recently participating in the Center for Circuits and Systems Solutions (C2S2).

An internationally known researcher, Carley works in the fields of CAD for analog circuit synthesis, high speed analog signal processing circuits, the design of RF front-end circuits, low power and low voltage digital logic, and the design of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). Carley is the co-author of two textbooks and the author or co-author of more than 200 book chapters and papers in professional journals and conferences. He has received several awards, including a Best Paper Award at the Design Automation Conference. In addition, he is an inventor or co-inventor on 23 patents. A dedicated educator, Carley has graduated over 40 M.S. students and over 30 Ph.D. students who are now pursuing careers in academia and industry.

For his contributions in research and teaching, Carley was elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1997. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal Analog Integrated Circuits and Signal Processing and served as associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems (Part II) from 1993-1996. In 1997, Carley co-founded Neolinear, a Pittsburgh-based high-tech company specializing in analog CAD synthesis tools which was acquired by Cadence in 2004.


David Danks, PhD
Co-Director, Center for IDeaS
David Danks is L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy & Psychology, and Head of the Department of Philosophy, at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also the Chief Ethicist of CMU’s Block Center for Technology & Society; co-director of CMU’s Center for Informed Democracy and Social Cybersecurity (IDeaS); and an adjunct member of the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, and the Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute. His research interests are at the intersection of philosophy, cognitive science, and machine learning, using ideas, methods, and frameworks from each to advance our understanding of complex, interdisciplinary problems. Danks has examined the ethical, psychological, and policy issues around AI and robotics in transportation, healthcare, privacy, and security. He has also done significant research in computational cognitive science, culminating in his Unifying the Mind: Cognitive Representations as Graphical Models (2014, The MIT Press). And he has developed multiple novel causal discovery algorithms for complex types of observational and experimental data. Danks is the recipient of a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award, as well as an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship. He received an A.B. in Philosophy from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of California, San Diego.


Alex Davis, PhD
Engineering and Public Policy

Alex Davis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. His research is at the intersection of behavioral science, technology, and public policy, with diverse applications to health, energy, climate change, the environment, and innovation. Specific recent work focuses on integrating expert judgment with machine learning to solve challenging technical problems, eliciting individual and group preferences, and using risk analysis, communication, and digital health to improve perinatal outcomes for pregnant individuals. He teaches graduate courses in applied data analysis (19-704) and stochastic discrete choice models (19-786). Alex earned his B.S. from Northern Arizona University in Psychology (2007) and his M.S. (2009) and Ph.D. (2012) from Carnegie Mellon University in Behavioral Decision Research.  He worked as a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at Carnegie Mellon University prior to joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon.

Baruch Fischhoff, PhD
Engineering and Public Policy
Baruch Fischhoff, Ph.D., is the Howard Heinz University Professor in the Department Engineering and Public Policy and Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University. A graduate of the Detroit Public Schools, he holds a BS in mathematics and psychology from Wayne State University and an MA and PhD in psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the National Academy of Medicine. He is past President of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making and of the Society for Risk Analysis, and recipient of its Distinguished Achievement Award. He was founding chair of the Food and Drug Administration Risk Communication Advisory Committee and chaired the National Research Council Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security and co-chaired the National Research Council Committee on Future Research Goals and Directions for Foundational Science in Cybersecurity and three National Academy of Sciences Colloquia on “The Science of Science Communication.” He is a former member of the Eugene, Oregon Commission on the Rights of Women, Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Advisory Committee, the World Federation of Scientists Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism, and the Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board, where he chaired the Homeland Security Advisory Committee. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association for Psychological Science, the Society of Experimental Psychologists, and the Society for Risk Analysis. He has received APA’s Award for Distinguished Service to Psychology, an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Lund University, an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, and Carnegie Mellon's Ryan Award for Teaching. He has co-authored or edited, Acceptable Risk (1981), A Two-State Solution in the Middle East: Prospects and Possibilities (1993), Elicitation of Preferences (2000), Risk Communication: A Mental Models Approach (2002), Intelligence Analysis: Behavioral and Social Science Foundations (2011), Risk: A Very Short Introduction (2011), Communicating Risks and Benefits: An Evidence-Based Guide (2011), Judgment and Decision Making (2011), Risk Analysis and Human Behavior (2011), The Science of Science Communication I (2013), II (2014), and III (2019), and Counting Civilian Casualties (2013).


Jason Hong, PhD
Human and Computer Interaction Institute

Jason Hong is a professor in the Human Computer Interaction Institute, part of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He works in the areas of usability, mobility, privacy, and security, and his research has been featured in the New York Times, MIT Tech Review, CBS, CNN, Slate, the World Economic Forum, and more. Jason is on the editorial board for ACM Transactions on Human Computer Interaction and the Communications of the ACM, and previously IEEE Pervasive Computing. He is an author of the book The Design of Sites, a popular book on web design using web design patterns. Jason is also a co-founder of Wombat Security Technologies, which was acquired by Proofpoint in March 2018. Jason received his PhD from Berkeley and his undergraduate degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology. Jason has participated on DARPA's Computer Science Study Panel (CS2P), is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, a Kavli Fellow, a PopTech Science fellow, a New America National Cybersecurity Fellow, and is a member of CHI Academy.


Daniel Oppenheimer, PhD
Social and Decision Sciences

Some Facts about Danny Oppenheimer:

  1. In my lab meetings, I give out weekly honors not just for successes, but also for failure (if you’re not failing some of the time, you’re not taking on sufficiently difficult challenges) and for the person who told the best joke.
  2. I have been known to open meetings with graduate students by singing the Star Wars theme song.  Also show tunes.
  3. I keep a box of washable crayons in my shower.  All my best ideas come to me in the shower - now I write them down and don't forget them.
  4. When a new graduate student is accepted to the department, they are warned by the current students to never ever ever under any circumstances ever make a bet with me if ice cream is on the line, because when the stakes are ice cream, I never lose.  Despite this, there are people all around the country who owe me ice cream…
  5. I have been in zero gravity.  I don't recommend the experience.
  6. I did my undergraduate at Rice in Houston but can’t do a southern drawl, even to the phrase “howdy y’all”.  I got my PhD at Stanford, but didn’t learn to skateboard.  I spent eight years in New Jersey at Princeton, but never grew to like Dunkin Donuts.  I spend 5 years at UCLA, and didn’t pick up “dude” or “like” as a filler.  I don’t have high hopes for “yinz”.
  7. I have an ongoing bet with a fellow academic over who can get the strangest citation through peer review.  My favorite success so far is Count Chocula, but I’ve always got several new ones going through the pipeline.
  8. Some people say I like corny puns. There’s a kernel of truth to that, I’ve got an ear for puns that pop… 
Conrad Tucker, PhD
Mechanical Engineering

Conrad Tucker is an Arthur Hamerschlag Career Development Professor of Mechanical Engineering and holds courtesy faculty appointments in machine learning, robotics, and biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on the design and optimization of systems through the acquisition, integration, and mining of large scale, disparate data.

Tucker has served as PI/Co-PI on federally/non-federally funded grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) via the NSF Center for eDesign, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). In February 2016, he was invited by National Academy of Engineering (NAE) President Dr. Dan Mote, to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee for the NAE Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) Symposium. He received his Ph.D., M.S. (industrial engineering), and MBA degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.


Osman Yağan, PhD
Electrical and Computer Engineering & Cylab

Osman Yağan is an Associate Research Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Prior to joining the faculty of the ECE department in August 2013, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in CyLab at CMU. He has also held a visiting Postdoctoral Scholar position at Arizona State University during Fall 2011. Dr. Yağan received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park, MD in 2011, and his B.S. degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara (Turkey) in 2007.

Dr. Yağan's research interests are in modeling, design, and performance evaluation of engineering systems with particular emphasis on communication systems and networks. Specific research topics include wireless communications, security, random graphs, social and information networks, and cyber-physical systems.

Dr. Yağan is a Senior Member of IEEE and a recipient of CIT Dean's Early Career Fellowship.

Technical Day Instructors

Janice Blane
Christine Lepird

Christine Lepird is a Societal Computing PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University where I’m advised by Dr. Kathleen Carley in CASOS.  Prior to CMU, she worked for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab where she earned my masters in Computer Science at night and as a data scientist at Wayfair where she created recommender systems. Christine earned her BS from MIT where she double majored in Math and Management Operations Research. 

In her spare time, she enjoys swimming with her Masters team, doing house repair projects, and spending time with her dog, husband, and two cats. She is originally from Media, Pennsylvania. 

Description of Research:

Christine's primary area of research is in social network analysis - a field of study that investigates social structures through ties of various strengths. I investigate suspicious network behavior on platforms like Reddit and Facebook in order to differentiate between organic communities and malicious networks that post fake news.

Tom Magelinski

Thomas Magelinski is a fourth-year PhD. Student in Societal Computing advised by Professor Kathleen Carley. His research falls at the intersection of Network Science, Dynamical Systems, and Machine Learning. Specifically, his work seeks to leverage network dynamics to better understand social media discourse. He received an ARCS foundation scholarship in 2017 to support this work. He obtained the Honors Baccalaureate Degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech in 2017, with minors in Math and Physics. His undergraduate thesis focused on computational models of military air drop systems.

Description of Research:

Tom is currently working on developing and applying dynamic community detection methods for multipartite networks to Twitter discourse. The goal is to find and characterize communities propagating misleading information. Specifically, he is the investigating the spread of untrustworthy news articles in the COVID-19 discussion, and the Reopen America campaign.

Lynnette Ng
Jeffrey Reminga
Joshua Uyheng

Joshua Uyheng is a third-year PhD student in societal computing at Carnegie Mellon University. He is advised by Dr. Kathleen Carley at the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS). His research combines machine learning, network science, and social and cognitive psychology to examine the large-scale dynamics of hate speech and disinformation on social media platforms. He is especially interested in comparative work focused on the Asia-Pacific and the Global South. Previously, he has conducted research on human-in-the-loop modelling and computational social systems at Heidelberg University and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology. He holds an MS in societal computing from Carnegie Mellon University, and undergraduate degrees in mathematics and psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University. He hails from the Philippines.

Description of Research:

Josh’s current research uses social identity theory and constructural theory to conceptualize online hate speech in terms of the narrative and network dynamics of groups. His work develops computational methods which characterize the prevalence and targets of hate speech, the properties of hateful communities, and how these processes are exploited by bots and trolls in the context of information operations. He specifically investigates these issues across diverse online conversations around national elections, natural disasters, social unrest, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Through his research, he aims to expand global and interdisciplinary understandings of the problem of hate speech, and ultimately illuminate new directions for making digital platforms more resilient to violence and conflict.

Ramon Villa-Cox
Ramon Villa-Cox is a graduate student researcher at the Institute for Software Research at Carnegie Mellon University. His advisor is Kathleen M. Carley.

About the Center for IDeaS:

The Center for Informed Democracy & Social-cybersecurity (IDeaS) was founded at Carnegie Mellon University in 2019 with funding from the Knight Foundation. Led by Co-directors Dr. Kathleen M. Carley and Dr. David Danks, the goal of the Center for IDeaS is to enhance social-cybersecurity to preserve and support and informed democratic society. The use of social media to harm ranges from individuals using it for cyber-bullying, to extremist groups recruiting members, to states using it to encourage polarization and unrest. As more of our lives move online, we are increasingly challenged by hate speech, disinformation campaigns and extremism. IDeaS brings together a community of scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers to develop new theories, applications, educational practices, and policies to foster an informed democratic society in a cybermediated environment. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to be informed of seminars, conferences, and institutes hosted by the Center for IDeaS.