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Duncan Watts

Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research; AD White Professor at Large

Duncan Watts is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and a founding member of the MSR-NYC lab. He is also an AD White Professor at Large at Cornell University. Prior to joining MSR in 2012, he was from 2000-2007 a professor of Sociology at Columbia University, and then a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research, where he directed the Human Social Dynamics group.

His research on social networks and collective dynamics has appeared in a wide range of journals, from NatureScience, and Physical Review Letters to the American Journal of Sociology and Harvard Business Review, and has been recognized by the 2009 German Physical Society Young Scientist Award for Socio and Econophysics, the 2013 Lagrange-CRT Foundation Prize for Complexity Science, and the 2014 Everett Rogers M. Rogers Award.

He is also the author of three books: Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (W.W. Norton, 2003) and Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks between Order and Randomness (Princeton University Press, 1999), and most recently Everything is Obvious: Once You Know The Answer(Crown Business, 2011)

Watts holds a B.Sc. in Physics from the Australian Defence Force Academy, from which he also received his officer’s commission in the Royal Australian Navy, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University.

(From Duncan Watts’s page at Microsoft.com)

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/duncan/

Expertise

  • social networks;
  • collective dynamics;
  • social dynamics;
“Actors do not behave or decide as atoms outside a social context ... Their attempts at purposive action are instead embedded in concrete, ongoing systems of social relations.”— Mark Granovetter