Director of the Center for Social Complexity
FALL 2013 OFFICE HOURS: By appointment
Internal extension: 3-1402
Direct line: 703-993-1402
Email address: ccioffi [at] gmu [dot] edu
Claudio Cioffi-Revilla is the 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 Urbana-Champaign, 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.
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 pending). 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); and Executive Committee Member of the Human Relations Area Files at Yale University.
Dr. Cioffi has published four books and over fifty peer-reviewed publications on conflict analysis and quantitative/computational social science. His most recent book, Power Laws and Non-Equilibrium Distributions of Complexity in the Social Sciences, is under review at a university press. He is a member of the Global Futures Forum and served as co- chair of the Second World Congress in Social Simulation (July 14-16, 2008) at George Mason University. In 2008 he was appointed for a three year term as Associate Scientist by the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. As a Jefferson Science Fellow, Dr. Cioffi remains engaged with the State Department through the Office of Geographic and Global Issues, the Humanitarian Intervention Unit, and the Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State. He continues to serve in selected assignments and in 2008 was honored as a Galileo Award Finalist for his paper on “Beyond the Visible Spectrum: Applying Computational Social Science for Boosting Intelligence Analysis.”
His current projects include NSF- and DOD-funded research on computational models of socio-natural systems that integrate cultural dynamics and environmental change. His NSF-funded research focuses on the rise and fall of polities in Inner Asia (Mongolia and its neighbors), where he is the Principal Investigator in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution his ONR-funded projects focus on agent-based models of political instability and ecological dynamics in Eastern Africa and Asia. Dr. Cioffi and his wife Jean live in Washington, DC.