Designing trustworthy, sustainable & justifiable computational methods

Understanding critical systems' transformations by computational means

Exploring how computational technologies shape social realities

Center

The Center for Critical Computational Studies (C3S) is a newly founded hub for inter- and transdisciplinary research at Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. To establish and further Critical Computational Studies, we bring together diverse disciplines, ranging from computer, life, and social sciences to health and the humanities.

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Our purpose is to develop, apply, reflect, and transfer computational methods (i.e. computer-based, data-driven, etc.) hand in hand with consequence-focused reflections. To this end, C3S conveys Critical Computational Literacy: skills and critical awareness necessary to actively shape our digital future.

In the Center for Critical Computational Studies (C3S), we interweave critical with computational approaches across and beyond disciplines to

  • generate deeper system understandings, including how computational technologies are forming realities;
  • develop strategies for designing and using computational technologies in ways that are sustainable, trustworthy, and justifiable.

Over the course of the next years, we will:

  • Build a new campus for Critical Computational Studies. Read more
  • Recruit twelve or more new research teams (professorships etc.). Read more
  • Affiliate/associate principial investigators from within and without Goethe University. Read more
  • Establish the necessary structures for innovative inter- and transdisciplinary research, teaching, and transfer. Read more

Critical Computational Studies

We constitute Critical Computational Studies as a multi-, inter-, and eventually transdisciplinary field of research to innovate synergies in the development, application, reflection, and transfer of algorithmic and data centered methods.

Explore our research profiles

Sustainable Technological Foundations

Sustainable technological foundations are key to Critical Computational Studies. To remain feasible in monetary and environmental terms, the growing flood of data requires a precise combination of critical data analytics, scalable algorithms, and energy-efficient hardware.

C3S hence explores the energy-efficient realization of cross-domain core routines, hybrid approaches (from classical algorithms to AI, e.g., learned data structures), scalable algorithm libraries with flexible interfaces, and the efficient use of data for machine learning and generation of artificial training data.

Computation of the Critical

We study how computational methods can be used to identify, analyze, or model critical points, e.g., transitions or changes, that lead to a significant shift in behavior or function of a system. This includes areas such as physics, biology, economics, social sciences, or any other field where critical points play a significant role in system understanding and prediction of behavior.

We establish computational tools and techniques for identifying and analyzing critical points in complex systems in order to understand how they can be shaped, manipulated or regulated.

Computational Critique

We use computational methods, techniques, and tools to analyze and evaluate social and cultural artifacts, their immanent pattern and trends, and their underlying power structures and formative assumptions.

By drawing on computational approaches, we gain a deeper understanding of how power dynamics, ideologies, and cultural values shape these systems and how they work.

Critique of the Computational

We examine the intersection of computational technologies as well as scientifc, social and cultural issues. This involves the critical analysis of computing, including how software, hardware and data are both shaped by and how they are shaping scientific, social and cultural strcutes.

By doing so, we devise computational technology and improvements that enhance security, transparency and trustworthiness, reinforce benefits while minimizing drawbacks, and that are justifiable.

Upcoming events

Virtual Talk with Gaurav Rattan

Garauv Rattan, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Mathematics at Technische Universität Darmstadt

 

Graph-Theoretic Design Principles for Graph Neural Networks

 

Read more …

Virtual Talk with Frank Takes

Dr. Frank Takes, associate professor at LIACS, the computer science and AI department of Faculty of Science of Leiden University

 

Promise and perils of population-scale social network analysis

 

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Explorative Workshop

As part of our founding strategy and in our first round of recruitment, C3S is seeking as soon as possible to fill the positions of

  • Two professorships at the interface between classical network science and graph machine learning
  • Two professorships for the modeling of climate change, namely:
    one for the modeling of the social and/or socio-economic drivers and impacts of ongoing climate change
    one for the modeling of ecosystems and/or biodiversity and their interrelation with ongoing climate change
Read more …