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The 1st Symposium on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science
Inequality and Imbalance


November 15-17, 2017
London, United Kingdom                      
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General Chairs:
Luca Maria Aiello, Nokia Bell Labs
Helen Margetts, Oxford Internet Institute

Organizing Committee:
Katrin Weller, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Markus Strohmaier, RWTH Aachen & GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
David Garcia, Complexity Science Hub Vienna and Medical University of Vienna
Frank Schweitzer, ETH Zurich




Kristina Lerman, University of Southern California

Eszter Hargittai, University of Zurich

Keith Payne, University of North Carolina


Deadline for abstract submission: September 30, 2017
Notification of acceptance: October 13, 2017

Workshops and tutorials: November 15, 2017
Conference: November 16-17, 2017




·       Quantitative Tools for Qualitative Analysis: Computational Social Science Meets Discourse Analysis (full day)

·       Developing Intelligent Decision Support Systems: Societal Challenges and Technical Strategies (half day)




·       Integrating Social Theory with Computational and Spatial Methods for Urban Data Science (full day)

·       Introduction to Social Media Network Analysis with NodeXL (half day)

·       Quantitative Text Analysis Using R (half day)


The Symposium is an interdisciplinary venue that brings together researchers from a diverse range of disciplines to contribute to the definition and exploration of the societal challenges in Computational Social Science, especially around the topics o inequality and imbalance. This is the first in a series of three symposia that discuss societal challenges in computational social sciences. Future events will be focused on "Bias and Discrimination" (Cologne, 2018) and "Polarization and Radicalization" (Zurich, 2019).

We welcome submissions in the intersection of the social sciences and the computer sciences, including (a) new approaches for understanding social phenomena and addressing societal challenges, (b) improving methods for computational social science, (c) and understanding the influence of the Web and digital technologies on society.


We are especially interested in:

* Methods for measuring inequality and imbalance
* Measuring inequality and imbalance on the Web
* Mediating inequalities via computational methods
* Inequality data mining
* Inequality and biases in social networks
* Detecting trends of inequality
* Digital reproduction of inequality
* Online vs. offline inequalities
* Cross-country and longitudinal studies of inequality
* Missing data
* Digital civil society and digital citizenship
* Digital divides and digital inequality
* Global inequality and effects of globalization
* Power imbalances
* Demographics and age structures
* Underrepresented groups
* Wealth and poverty research
* Economic inequality
* Inequality in the urban environment
* Health inequalities
* Models of social capital in the digital age
* Non-users of digital technologies
* Accessibility of and barriers to digital technologies
* Skills and digital literacy

Other related topics are explicitly welcome.


Original manuscripts should be submitted in English in pdf format to the EasyChair submission system:

Submissions should be 1-2 page abstracts (up to approx. 1000 words) summarizing the work to be presented. We encourage researchers to also submit mature work that has already been published and/or submit work in progress. Please give a sufficiently detailed description of your work and your methods so we can adequately assess its relevance. Each extended abstract will be reviewed by a Program Committee composed of experts in computational social science. Accepted submissions will be non-archival, i.e. there are no proceedings. We may however discuss options for publishing selected submissions after the conference (e.g. as a journal special issue or edited collection). Submissions will mostly be evaluated based on relevance and the potential to stimulate interesting discussions.



Due to the generous funding by Volkswagen Foundation we are able to offer up to 40 travel grants to early career researchers whose talks are accepted for the symposium. Both plenary talk presenters and workshop/ tutorial presenters are eligible for the travel grants.

The travel grant consists of 500 EUR for authors from non-European countries or 250 EUR for authors from Europe and also covers the registration fee for the symposium. Travel grant recipients will be selected by a committee of experts based on their academic excellence, financial needs and diversity (e.g. gender, geographical and disciplinary diversity).

Please indicate in your submission 1) if you wish to apply for a travel grant, 2) your motivation for the grant application and 3) whether you will still attend the symposium without a travel grant.

The grants aim to especially support attendees with limited travel resources and attendees from countries where Computational Social Science is not yet well established.

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