Noshir Contractor presented on “Leveraging Computational Social Science to Address Grand Societal Challenges” on April 16, 2018.

The increased access to big data about social phenomena in general, and network data in particular, has been a windfall for social scientists. But these exciting opportunities must be accompanied with careful reflection on how big data can motivate new theories and methods. Using examples of his research in areas of disaster response, global health, scientific collaboration, and the mission to Mars, Contractor will argue that computational social science serves as the foundation to unleash the intellectual insights locked in big data. More importantly, he will illustrate how these insights offer social scientists in general, and social network scholars in particular, an unprecedented opportunity to engage more actively in monitoring, anticipating, and designing interventions to address grand societal challenges.