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Computational Social Science Working Group

The CSS Working Group uses computational and mathematical approaches to investigate social behavior. We are interested in the empirical analysis of social phenomenon in team member's core areas of interest. My own lie in social media and politics, and am looking for undergraduates interested in:

  • Elections research: Visual communication dynamics on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

  • Game-theoretic modeling of social behavior.

  • GitHub collaboration dynamics.

We also work on the development of methodological tools to aid analysis, such as deep learning for image analysis, social network analysis, ChatGPT & LLM workstreams, simulation, and integrating journalistic and creative approaches.

The group is growing and I'm accepting applications for a post-doc and Ph.D student in the 2023 cycle. If you are interested in social media, modeling/machine learning, or AI & game theory, please get in touch at herbert@dartmouth.edu with your C.V. 

Faculty Investigator

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Herbert Chang

I'm excited to work with students to develop their core social science areas through student-led projects, whether it's in politics, public policy, AI, or sociology. We can always find the right data and computational tools for each project, so long as they bring interest and motivation. 

I am also committed to helping students succeed later in their careers, whether it is for further study or transition to industry.

Undergraduate Researchers

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Sunny Fang 

Yu (Sunny) Fang is a data science and political science student at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research employs computational methods to study democratic values, such as media portrayal of geopolitics and online discourse about Taiwan. Previously, she has written about the legal and global implications of Taiwan's semiconductor dominance in the Columbia Undergraduate Law Review and the Asia-Pacific Affairs Council Journal of Columbia. She hopes to further utilize computational methods to explore the interdependence of technology and society.

Key themes: Social media and politics

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Sean Noh '28

I'm from Virginia and will be attending Dartmouth next year to study Computer Science, and I'm also interested in education, QSS, and psychology. I hope to develop educational technology and learn application development. I love playing tabletop games, I am an Eagle Scout, and I recently published a habit-tracking app, Cogo.

Key themes: AI and game theory

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Joanna Olagundoye '24

Joanna Olagundoye is a Senior at Dartmouth College where she double majors in Quantitative Social Science (QSS) and Astronomy. Within QSS she focuses on building a firm understanding in economics, enjoying the topic of game theory learning how businesses and markets run. But the major has also offered her the opportunity to delve into a more personal side of the economy – how consumer thoughts and actions affect the numbers and trends that economists study. In her honours thesis in QSS she aims to examine economy shifts to the perceptions of consumers.

Key Themes: Social media and business ethics, corporate responsibility

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V Quidore '24

V Quidore is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Dartmouth College studying computer science, linguistics, and quantitative social science, and they are interested in the intersections of technology, policy, data, education, and narrative. Currently, they are researching how humor is used as a tool to propagate as well as counteract misinformation and disinformation. During their free time, they can be found screenwriting and managing Dartmouth College Radio.
Key themes: Misinformation, mutlimedia

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Tracy Weener '26

Tracy Weener is a public policy and environmental science research intern, saxophonist in the Wind Ensemble, associate editor of the Law Journal, and Women in Business associate. After graduating, Tracy intends to apply data science to government through work in policy analysis. Her paper "Conjoint Analysis of the 2024 Taiwanese Presidential Election" won the NATSA Undergraduate Paper Competition. She is from Boxford, Massachusetts. 

Key themes: Survey experiments, Taiwanese politics, misinformation, youth politics

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Sam Winchester '24

Sam Winchester is majoring in Quantitative Social Science with a minor in Sustainability. At Dartmouth, he is a member of the Dartmouth Ski Patroller and of the Committee of Standards. He previously served as the Director of Strategy at The Dartmouth and as a First Year Fellow and Researcher at the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy. He is interested in social networks, sustainability, sports analytics, and government-sponsored aid programs, and is currently completing a Senior Thesis on the impact of social media sentiment on the performance of professional athletes.

Key themes: Social media and mental health, self-perception 

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Zachariah Yusaf '26

Zachariah Yusaf is a sophomore at Dartmouth College, where he plans to major in mathematics and minor in philosophy. His middle and high school debate career sparked an avid interest in political, economic, and social dynamics. Zach is particularly interested in how artificial intelligence and discourse can shape geopolitical outcomes. At Dartmouth, Zach dances on Raaz, debates for the Parliamentary Debate team, writes for The Dartmouth, and was a Rockefeller Center First Year Fellow.

Key themes: Social network analysis

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Mingyue Zha '27

Mingyue Zha is a freshman at Dartmouth College studying Economics and Neuroscience. After moving from Shanghai, China to Connecticut, she did fMRI research at the Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. At Dartmouth, Ming looks forward to promoting mental health resources through FORTitude and the Mental Health Union. She’s interested in doing research on attention economics, social networks, and online streaming communities.

Key themes: attention economics, platforms and social networks

Datasets and Research Streams

These are existing streams of research, based on existing databases. We have capabilities to scrape TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Students' own interests, questions, and data sources are encouraged. For internal tools, please consult our Slack channel.

COVID-19 Twitter Dataset

The largest public Twitter dataset for COVID-19 (n > 4 billion). Can be used to analyze discourse and specific topics of interest. Past examples include politics, K-pop, and public health.

Instagram & the Floyd Protests 

Dataset of more than 1.59 million public Instagram posts during the #BLM2020 protests following the murder of Mr. George Floyd. This stream combines social justice and visual machine learning. *Seeking RAs.

News & Media

For students interested in journalism, media framing, and partisan bias, there are rich opportunities to cultivate your own area of research. Combines NLP, LLM and ChatGPT workstreams, and partisan bias. Examples include Gender in the 2020 Democratic Primaries and Debiasing AI from LGBTQ+ Bias.

Vaping

Multimodal dataset across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitch of tobacco and alcohol abuse. Entry points in deep learning, social network analysis, and surveys.

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