Damon Centola, Ph.D.
- Elihu Katz Professor of Communication, Sociology, and Engineering
- Director, Network Dynamics Group
- Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
Damon Centola is the Elihu Katz Professor of Communication, Sociology and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is Director of the Network Dynamics Group and Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.
Damon’s research centers on social networks and behavior change. His work has received numerous scientific awards, including the Goodman Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Sociological Methodology in 2011; the James Coleman Award for Outstanding Research in Rationality and Society in 2017; and the Harrison White Award for Outstanding Scholarly Book in 2019. He was a developer of the NetLogo agent based modeling environment, and was awarded a U.S. Patent for inventing a method to promote diffusion in online networks. He is a member of the Sci Foo community and fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
Popular accounts of Damon’s work have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, TIME, The Atlantic, Scientific American and CNN, among other outlets. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation. Damon’s speaking and consulting clients include Amazon, Apple, Cigna, General Motors, Microsoft, Ben & Jerry’s, the U.S. Army, and the NBA, among others. He is a series editor for Princeton University Press and the author of How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions (PUP 2018), and Change: How to Make Big Things Happen (Little Brown/Spark 2021).
- B.A., Marlboro College, 1997
- M.A., Cornell University, 2004
- Ph.D., Cornell University, 2006
"The reduction of race and gender bias in clinical treatment recommendations using clinician peer networks in an experimental setting." Nature Communications, 2021.
Change: How to Make Big Things Happen. Little, Brown & Co., 2021.
How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagion. Princeton University Press, 2018.
“Topological Measures for Identifying and Predicting the Spread of Complex Contagions.” Nature Communications, 2021.
“Experimental Evidence for Scale-Induced Category Convergence across Populations.” Nature Communications, 2021.
“Impact of Network Structure on Collective Learning: An Experimental Study in a Data Science Competition.” PLOS ONE, 2020.
“Social Networks and Health: New Developments in Diffusion, Online and Offline.” Annual Review of Sociology, 2019.
“The Wisdom of Partisan Crowds.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.
“Social Learning and Partisan Bias in the Interpretation of Climate Trends.” Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences, 2018.
“Experimental Evidence for Tipping Points in Social Convention.” Science, 2018.
- COMM 4590 (formerly 459) Social Networks and the Spread of Behavior
- COMM 5530 (formerly 553) Research Seminar on Computational Social Science
- COMM 7880 (formerly 788) Research Seminar on Internet Experiments
- COMM 8580 (formerly 858) CHANGE: Networks and Policy
- COMM 2410 Introduction to Network Dynamics and Collective Behavior
Quotable: Insights from Annenberg Faculty and Students
Throughout October, we have been looking back at insights shared by our faculty and students over the past several years.