Engineering Experts

Dr. Cioffi-revilla

Department of Computational Social Science
George Mason University
United States Virgin Islands


Dr. Cioffi-Revilla is a Professor of Computational Social Science, founding and former Chair of the Department of Computational Social Science, and founding and current Director of the Mason Center for Social Complexity at George Mason University. He holds two doctoral degrees in Political Science and International Relations and his areas of special interest include quantitative, mathematical, and simulation models applied to complex human and social systems. He currently teaches courses on Origins of Social Complexity, Complexity Theory for Computational Social Science, and Introduction to CSS. Prior to joining Mason, he taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has also held visiting appointments and lectureships in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. In 2002 he designed and initiated the Mason Ph.D. program in Computational Social Sciences, the first program in the country with this specific focus.

Research Interest

Dr. Cioffi’s research on conflict, international relations, and social complexity has been funded by DARPA, NSF, ONR, NATO, and European research agencies. While serving at the State Department during 2006-2007 as a Jefferson Science Fellow of the National Academy of Science he developed models for risk assessment as well as the application of advanced social science methodologies such as computational models. During the year he also demonstrated the use of “polichart analysis”, a cartographic modeling method he invented for visualization and analysis of complex spatial patterns in socio-political data, such as foreign energy dependencies or WMD proliferation potentials. He holds an inventor’s patent for risk assessment of anthropogenic (man-made, as opposed to natural) catastrophes (US patent no. US7,650,258 B2). These and other methods are useful in the analysis of national security policy issues that range from humanitarian crises to human trafficking. A highlight of his year in-residence at State was the preparation of a special report on the current state and future potential of computational social science applied to the analysis of foreign policy issues in a paper that received high praise from senior members, including the Director of the Policy Planning Staff. He is an elected member of the Cosmos Club of Washington, DC; President of the North American Association for Computational Social Sciences (2008-2010); Founding President of the Computational Social Science Society of the Americas (CSSSA); and Executive Committee Member of the Human Relations Area Files at Yale University.


  • Introduction to Computational Social Science

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