CSCDS is a multi-disciplinary community of scholars with a shared interest in developing advanced quantitative and computational methods, and applying them to research in the humanities and social sciences.
We can achieve these aims best collaboratively working as a single, cohesive community. As a result, our community consists of both researchers in the social and cultural sciences who seek to apply new techniques in their inquiries and those from quantitative disciplines with interests in discovering new applications, motivations, and contexts for their work.
We’re always looking for opportunities and new ways to serve our mission. If you’re interested in joining the Centre or have ideas for future Centre activities, please get in touch by email!
Meet our Director
Derek Ruths is Associate Professor of Computer Science at McGill University. He joined the faculty in 2009 after completing his PhD in Computer Science at Rice University. His ongoing work considers the problem of characterizing and predicting the large-scale dynamics of human behaviour in online social platforms. His work involves active collaborations with colleagues in the social sciences, humanities, and in industry. He has published in top-tier journals and conferences including Science, EMNLP, ICWSM, and PLoS Computational Biology. His research is funded by a wide array of organizations including NSERC, SSHRC, tech companies, and the US National Science Foundation - underscoring the broad, interdisciplinary nature of his work.
Meet our Steering Committee Members
Aaron Erlich is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at McGill University. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has great interest in democratization and democratic development. Much of his research addresses the role that information plays in developing democratic polities. He is also interested in advancing quantitative methods to measure the effect of information. He maintains active research projects in the former Soviet Union, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Mexico. To date, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, and The Journal of Modern African Studies. You can see more about his academic work on his CV. Before returning to academia, he worked for the National Democratic Institute in Nairobi, Kenya and the Caucasus Research Resource Centers based out of Tbilisi, Georgia.
Amélie Quesnel-Vallée holds the Canada Research Chair on Policies and Health Inequalities. She is an Associate Professor at McGill University, where she is jointly appointed in the Departments of Sociology and of Epidemiology, across the Faculties of Arts and Medicine. She is also the founding Director of the International Research Infrastructure on Social inequalities in health (IRIS) and a founding member of the Centre on Population Dynamics at McGill. Her research on social policies and social inequalities in health over the life course research has received numerous awards, including the Population Association of America Dorothy Thomas award and the 2005 American Sociological Association Dissertation Award, and has appeared in outlets such as the British Journal of Psychiatry, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the International Journal of Epidemiology, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Social Science & Medicine.
Andrew Piper is a Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at McGill University. His work explores the application of computational approaches to the study of literature and culture. He is the director of .txtLAB, a digital humanities laboratory at McGill, as well as leader of the international partnership grant, “NovelTM: Text Mining the Novel”, which brings together 21 partners across North America to undertake the first large-scale quantitative and cross-cultural study of the novel. He is the author most recently of Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times (Chicago 2012) and is currently completing a new book entitled, Enumerations: The Quantities of Literature.
Brian Rubineau is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. His research investigates how informal social dynamics contribute to inequalities in occupations and labor markets. His research appears in the leading management and sociology journals Management Science, Organization Science, and American Sociological Review, among others. He is the recipient of multiple competitive research grants, and he has been a Residential Research Fellow at the Institute for the Social Sciences at Cornell University and a Graduate Fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University.
Jenn Riley is the Associate Dean, Digital Initiatives in the McGill University Library and Archives. Her work focuses on promoting the use of digital tools to facilitate research and to share knowledge widely and effectively. She is devoted to supporting digital scholarship on campus and ensuring scholars have the support and partners they need at any point in the research lifecycle as they do digitally-enhanced work. Prior to moving to McGill, Jenn worked in digital libraries at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Indiana University.
John W. Galbraith is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics. His work has been primarily in econometrics and applications of statistical methods to macroeconomics, forecasting and financial economics. His current research concerns inference in econometric models for "wide" data (where the number of variables is large relative to the number of observations), and economic monitoring and short-term forecasting with "tall" data (large numbers of observations, relatively few variables) from the payments system. He is also affiliated with CIREQ (Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative) and CIRANO (Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations).
Nicholas King is an Associate Professor in the Department of the Social Studies of Medicine, and at McGill University, and an Associate Member in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University; and an Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. He holds a Ph.D. in the history of science and a Masters degree in medical anthropology from Harvard University.
Thomas Soehl has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California Los Angeles 2014. Two main themes guide his research: one is the importance of family ties for migrants and the inter-generational transmission of culture, socio-economic characteristics and political attachments in migrant families. A second theme is the political transition that international migration involves, and the multiple and shifting socio-political attachments of migrants. In addition to the literature on immigrant socioeconomic and political incorporation, and migrant transnationalism, his work contributes to research on political socialization, the sociology of the family, the comparative study of ethnicity and race, and the political reproduction of nation-states. Thomas heavily rely on quantitative methods such as multilevel modeling, event-history analysis, item-response theory, structural equation models and Bayesian approaches to statistical inference. Before embarking on an academic career he worked for three years for the New York City Council as a policy analyst and earned degrees from the University of Kassel (Urban Planning), the Graduate Center at CUNY (MA Political Science) and the Harvard Kennedy School (Public Administration).