Carnegie Mellon University

Portrait of Award Recipients

May 29, 2019

Carley Awarded Honorary Doctorate by University of Zurich

By Josh Quicksall

Kathleen M. Carley, professor in the Institute for Software Research and the Engineering and Public Policy departments, and the Founder and Director of the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS), was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics of the University of Zurich.

Held during the Dies academicus ceremony to commemorate the foundation of the University of Zurich 186 years ago, honorary degrees were conferred upon four women and two men whose work has enriched humanity across numerous academic and practical facets.

Among those honored were Shimon Gesundheit (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Niamh Moloney (London School of Economics), Marina Cavazzana (Head of the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital at the University of Paris Descartes), Johanna Nichols (University of California, Berkeley), Ghassem R. Asrar (Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute).

The University of Zurich, founded in 1833, is widely regarded as one of the leading research universities in Europe. More than 12 Nobel Prize laureates are associated with the institution, which was the first in Europe to be founded by the state rather than a monarch or church.

Carley, a faculty member in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon since 1984, is a graduate of both MIT as well as Harvard Universities. Through her research, she has made seminal contributions to the computational and data-driven study of social organizations and is a pioneer of data science and computational social science, even before these terms existed. She pioneered the field of dynamic network analysis and she has led the development of software tools for network analysis, agent-based modeling, and epidemiological modeling that are used in academia and industry. She is also is the founder and leader of the newly emerging field of social cyber-security.

In their statement regarding Carley’s honorary degree, The University of Zurich notes that Carley’s work constitutes “pioneering contributions to our understanding of social systems by means of computational methods. Through the development of new methods to study social networks, she shaped the development of data science and computational social science and provided important stimuli for the study of digital societies.”

Carley is a past recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the lifetime achievement award in Mathematical Sociology and the Simmel award from the International Network for Social Network Analysis. For her pioneering works on the impact of human communication on software quality, she received the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence. For outstanding contributions to the development of dynamical social network analysis, in 2018 she received the USGIF Academic Achievement Award. She has further been named as one of the Fabulous 50 women in tech over 50.

To learn more about Dr. Carley’s work, please visit the CASOS website.