We study the interplay between network topology and the dynamics of social interaction, using computational models, data from on-line networks, and laboratory experiments with human participants.

We are supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the MINERVA Initiative.

The SDL Director is Michael Macy, Goldwin Smith Professor of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Information Science.

The Assistant Director is Chris Cameron, a PhD candidate at Cornell.

Current Projects

Hate Speech


Thomas Davidson, Michael Macy, Dana Warmsley(Grad SDL member in Center for Applied Mathematics), and Ingmar Weber (at QCRI) have been working on a project to study hate speech and hate speakers of social media. They recently published a paper (data/source code) focusing on some of the problems associated with using machine learning models to automatically detect hate speech. They are currently looking further into the characteristics of hate speakers and their personal networks to better understand the phenomenon.

Complex Social Contagion

2014-Present Supported By: Minerva

By examining the digital traces of social contagion during times of civil unrest we aim to better understand how facts and ideas penetrate social networks and improve models of social contagion.

Cross-cultural differences in communication networks

2012-Present Supported By: NSF

Using Twitter data, this project aims to compare the topology of communication networks by cultural and economic factors at the country level.