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Social and behavioral analytics experts speak at Northwestern

Premiere computational social sciences conference helps drive emerging field

Digital networks

Keynote events from the International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2) will be streamed live online, allowing people around the world to gain valuable insights from a field that is redefining how human behavior and society are analyzed and predicted. 

The fourth annual event, hosted July 12 through 15 on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus, connects a diverse community of researchers, industry experts, open data activists, government agency workers and think tank analysts who are dedicated to advancing social science through computational methods. 

Cohosted by the Kellogg School of Management, McCormick School of Engineering and Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems, IC2S2 features more than 150 speakers addressing issues such as social contagion, social dynamics and influence, political collective action, economical models and social media.

Keynote speakers include executives from Facebook and Microsoft, as well as David Ferrucci, founder of Elemental Cognition and the key architect of IBM’s groundbreaking Watson computer system. Northwestern faculty who specialize in data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning also are among the event’s speakers.

More than 300 participants from more than 20 countries will attend the event in person with hundreds more expected to stream the events online.

View the livestream and full event schedule on the IC2S2 website.

What is computational social science?

Due to advances in machine learning and computational techniques, and the proliferation of digital footprints, human and societal behavior that was previously unquantifiable and unobservable now generates data that can be collected and analyzed to make insights and predictions.

Computational social science uses big data techniques on newly available datasets to explore questions such as: 

  • What content goes viral?
  • How does race affect hiring?
  • How can collaborative networks drive innovation?

In addition, computational social science allows leaders to better analyze and predict human behavior. This ability to collect and analyze massive amounts of social and behavioral data is poised to disrupt and transform business intelligence, operations and organization.

IC2S2 positions Northwestern at the heart of a strong global network of academics and thought leaders across industries and functions, helping to spur conversations and partnerships in the cutting-edge, emerging field of computational social science.

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