Milena Tsvetkova,

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I am a third-year PhD student in Sociology at Cornell University, working with Prof. Michael Macy. I come from Bulgaria but I have spent ten years studying and working in the United States and two years in the Netherlands, and next year, I’ll be in Sweden. My undergraduate education was in Architecture and I also have Master’s degrees in the Social Sciences and in Sociology. I attended the 2009 CSSS and I am truly excited to come back and be part again of SFI’s unique interdisciplinary environment.

Main interests. Broadly, I study questions of cooperation, reciprocity, and inequality. My dissertation investigates the social contagion of generosity. In one study, I designed, developed and executed an online behavioral experiment to establish whether those who receive or observe help from a stranger become more likely to help others (spoiler alert -- they do). In a possible project for GWCSS, I hope to implement the findings from that study in an agent-based model and investigate the macro-implications of the different ways in which generous behavior spreads. Another long-time interest of mine concerns the micro-foundations of inequality -- the idea that inequality can emerge from common mechanisms of social interaction even though most individuals are inequity averse. This is another project idea I am considering for the workshop.

Expertise. I am experienced with social network analysis, experimental design for social and behavioral studies, programming (mainly Python, some NetLogo), web development (Django), advanced statistical methods for social research, and basic game theory.

What I hope to get out of the GWCSS. I hope to update my knowledge of computational methods and modeling techniques and to familiarize myself with different approaches from the Social Sciences. I look forward to the opportunity to immerse myself in a project and receive valuable feedback from experts and peers. I also hope that I will find friends and future collaborators among the program participants.