Complex Socio-Technical Systems

Socio-technical systems are all around us. By analyzing them, we come closer to understanding ourselves.

We live and work in complex, adaptive and evolving socio-technical systems. This expansive and interdependent web of technology and social interaction gives rise to a number of complex challenges from both technical and social perspectives.

A simple example can be taken from social media: How do social networking platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, change in response to the ways in which users interact with them? In turn, how are social structures shaped through the technical structure of the platforms themselves?

Software is in everything. Software shapes the digital environment, which in turn shapes how we find information, conduct commerce, share and socialize, do our work, and amuse ourselves.

The opportunities to examine the relationships between technology and the social consequences to which it gives rise is vast. And our research in Complex Socio-Technical Systems brings together a renowned set of cross-disciplinary faculty to address these questions using tools and methods drawn from network science, social network analysis, big data analytics, statistical analysis, and the social sciences.

Whether it is identifying potential coordination crises in software development projects, predicting the social impact of evolving technologies, or suggesting new product directions, our work brings greater understanding to the nebulous and nuanced relationship between technology and user.