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2nd European Symposium on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science:

Bias and Discrimination


December 5-7, 2018
Cologne, Germany                      
For inquiries: 
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Deadline for abstract submission: August 1, 2018

Deadline for travel grant applications: August 1, 2018
Notification of acceptance: September 1, 2018

Pre-conference day (workshops / tutorials): December 5, 2018
Conference: December 6-7, 2018


Please watch out for our upcoming additional calls for

* workshop and tutorials

* phd consortium

* dataset challenge




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 of inequality and imbalance. This is the second in a series of three symposia that discuss societal challenges in computational social sciences. The first symposium was focused on "Inequality and Imbalance" (London, 2017), the third will focus on "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:

* Algorithmic bias

* Gender related discrimination

* Ethnic discrimination

* Religious discrimination

* Creation and confirmation of stereotypes

* Unequal structures and social behavior / political action

* Human-machine communication and manipulation thereof (e.g. effects of social bots)

* Manipulation and gaming of algorithms

* Effects of recommender systems and personalization

* Power of predictions

* Social engineering and reverse engineering

* Communicative biases in social media

* Cognitive biases

* Biases in Web data

* Missing data

* Inequality and biases in social networks

* Mediating discrimination via computational methods

* Effects of large data-sets on understanding biases

* Approaches for removing biases

* Transparency and open code

Other related topics are explicitly welcome.



Extended abstracts should be submitted in English in pdf format to the EasyChair submission system:

Submissions should be abstracts of approx. 2-3 pages (up to 1000 words plus references and figures) summarizing the work to be presented. We encourage researchers to also submit abstracts of 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. Please consider that reviewers will be from an interdisciplinary community.


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. Submissions will mostly be evaluated based on relevance and the potential to stimulate interesting discussions.


Submissions may be accepted as talks or posters.


Please also watch out for our additional calls for the pre-conference day (workshops, tutorials, doctoral consortium, data challenge) which will be released soon.






Due to the generous funding by Volkswagen Foundation we are able to offer a limited number of travel grants to researchers whose submissions are accepted for the symposium. Please check the symposium website for updates and detailed information.

Travel grant recipients will be selected by a committee based on academic excellence, financial needs and diversity (e.g. gender, geographical and disciplinary diversity).

To apply for a travel grant please send an email with the subject “Travel Grant” to [log in to unmask] including the following information: a) your submission number in EasyChair, b) your contact details, c) your motivation for the grant application and d) 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.

Please see the conference website for details.




General Chairs:
Markus Strohmaier, RWTH Aachen University & GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Katrin Weller, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Organizing Committee:
Katrin Weller, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Markus Strohmaier, RWTH Aachen & GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Luca Maria Aiello, Nokia Bell Labs
David Garcia, Complexity Science Hub Vienna and Medical University of Vienna
Frank Schweitzer, ETH Zurich



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