Social Science Modeling & Complexity for Ph.D. Students

Program Overview • Dates & Times • Registration Fee • Program Goals • Venue • Directors • Audience • Application Requirements • Outcomes


Program Overview

The Graduate Workshop in Computational Social Science Modeling and Complexity brings together a group of advanced Ph.D. students and a small faculty for an intensive two-week study of computational social science modeling and complexity. Participants will learn how to apply tools and approaches from complex systems and computation to questions in the social sciences, while advancing their independent research and working collaboratively with fellow participants. The Workshop convenes in-person and consists of seminars, independent research, formal and informal discussions, and a hackathon-style challenge.

Dates & Times

June 30 - July 12, 2024

The Workshop is a full-time (all-day) commitment. All participants are expected to attend the entire program in person.

Registration Fee

Registration fee: $2,475. The registration fee for the program covers course-associated costs, materials, and accommodations plus breakfast and lunch each weekday. Students are responsible for the cost of travel and for evening/weekend meals during the program.

Program Goals
  • Collaborate on an intensive, hackathon-style problem as a member of a team composed of fellow program participants.
  • Advance independent Ph.D. research with guidance from program faculty and insight from peers.
  • Connect with social scientists interested in computation and complexity and identify future collaborators and colleagues.
  • Explore a breadth of current topics in computational social science and complexity research.
SAR Administration Building Schwartz House Dining Room

The program will take place in the Schwartz House on the beautiful and historic campus of the School for Advanced Research (SAR) within walking distance of downtown Santa Fe. Each student will have a private bedroom in the house. The workshop will take place in the communal space which can be used for working and socializing. Two days will be spent at the Santa Fe Institute.


Program Directors John Miller and Scott Page have been leading Graduate Workshop since it began in 1993.

John Miller is SFI External Faculty and the chair of SFI’s Science Steering Committee. He is a professor of economics and social science at Carnegie Mellon University. Miller's research focuses on complex adaptive social systems, behavioral economics, adaptive algorithms, and computational modeling. He was SFI's first postdoc in 1988 and he has been involved ever since, holding numerous appointments. Miller and Page are co-authors of the book Complex Adaptive Social Systems.

Scott Page is SFI External Faculty and a member of SFI’s Science Board. He holds several endowed professorships at the University of Michigan, and teaches in fields that include complexity science, social science, management, and economics. Page's research focuses on the role that diversity plays in complex systems. He's written a well-known book on the subject The Difference about the benefits of diverse groups in organizations.

Workshop faculty are experts in the field of computational social science and complexity who are passionate about training the next generation of scholars to effectively use complexity science techniques in their research.


The Workshop is aimed at Ph.D. students who ideally have completed a minimum of two years of Ph.D. study (or equivalent research experience) and are actively pursuing thesis research in computational social science. Participation in the workshop is limited to 10 students. Early career researchers including postdocs and new faculty will be considered. 

Applicants from any country are welcome. Accepted applicants who are not US citizens or permanent residents will receive assistance with visa sponsorship as appropriate to their individual circumstances.

The Workshop team is committed to offering inclusive educational programs in which all participants feel valued and supported in their learning journey. We believe that human diversity in all of its dimensions is essential to meaningful scientific progress. We believe that open discourse and respectful sharing of broad perspectives is essential for understanding our world. We work to ensure our educational programs reflect and encourage this diversity and inclusivity, and we welcome you to join us.

SFI policy requires participants to provide proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination prior to beginning the program.

Application Requirements

While the application period is open, access the application system through the "Apply now!" button at the top right of your screen.

Applicants should submit: 

  • Biographical information (filled out directly in the application portal).
  • Current academic CV or résumé, including a list of publications, if any.
  • An outline of a current or proposed research project in complex and/or computational social sciences (maximum one page).
  • One academic letter of recommendation.
  • Contact information for two additional academic references.