Computational Social Science Concentration

Merging social science with computer programming and modeling

Charlie Roe, 2019

Charlie Roe

CONGRATULATIONS to Charlie Roe, a 2019 graduate of the Interdisciplinary Studies concentration in Computational Social Science. Charlie was recently hired as a Research Scientist Engineer for DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. This 60-year old Department of Defense agency is charged with "transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities." This research has led to many non-defense applications we are all familiar with, such as automated voice recognition, GPS, and the Internet itself. We checked in with Charlie to see what he will be doing in his new job:

What's is your new title, and for whom will you be working? My new title is Research Scientist Engineer and I’ll be working for DARPA in the Information Innovation Office (or I2O).

What kind of work will you be doing in your new role? I’ll be researching cutting edge technological advances in the use of information, information processing, artificial intelligence, and human-computer symbiosis for national security purposes. I’ll also be reviewing and selecting performers for DoD contracts, and managing teams of scientists and engineers working toward advancing the state of the art in the application of information technology.

How did your Interdisciplinary Studies degree prepare you for this opportunity? My degree prepared me for this job by qualifying me to give technical advice regarding the application of computational methodologies to social science research. I also gained valuable research and communication skills that I use every day.

What advice would you give to new students or prospective students in the Computational Social Science concentration? I’m not very good at giving advice, but if I had to tell a new/prospective student something it would be to prepare yourself for a lot of hard work, and if you put in the effort you’ll have no shortage of great professors to help you. Also, if you don’t know exactly what you want to do after the program, don’t let that stop you. You can figure out your interests along the way and the degree can open a lot of doors you didn’t know about.

Thanks, Charlie, for keeping us posted about your success, and best wishes for your work with DARPA!