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GMU CSS PhD Students to Present

News and Events | Comments Off on GMU CSS PhD Students to Present

The Research Colloquium on Computational Social Science/Data Sciences speakers for Friday, October 04, 2019, will be Amira Al-Khulaidy and Valentin Vergara, CSS PhD students. Their talk, entitled “Corruption and the effects of influence within social networks: An agent-based model of the “Lava Jato” scandal,” will begin at 3:00 in the Center for Social Complexity Suite located on the 3rd floor of Research Hall. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session along with light refreshments.

This session will not be video-streamed.

For announcements regarding future streams, please join the CSS/CDS student and alumni Facebook group:

For a list of upcoming and previous seminars, please visit:

We hope to see you on Friday, October 04, 2019 at 3PM.

Abstract: Corruption, and more specifically corruption in Latin America, is a complex phenomenon which is affected by politics, social structures and institutions, as well as individual behaviors. The Lava Jato is a large-scale example of corruption in Brazil. As of early 2019, there is still an ongoing investigation surrounding what has been lauded as the largest corruption scheme in Latin America. Advances in data analysis, computation, and social networks have allowed progress to be made with these types of investigations. The Lava Jato case has been a clear example of how breaking up social networks and understanding the extent of crime and individual corruption has revealed webs of corruption that have influenced politics, as well as hindered economic developed in Brazil. The several layers of interactions between individuals and institutions can be difficult to grasp and understanding the patterns and relationships within complex large-scale phenomena, such as corruption can seem impossible. Agent-based models can help with understanding these complex behaviors and systems. By capturing the patterns and gaining a better understanding of how corruption emerges and is manifested, we can help inform policy, as well as create better tools and methods for crime prevention and detection.

Amira Al-Khulaidy – Computational Social Science PhD student, MEd. in Education, University of Virginia.
Valentin Vergara – Computational Social Science PhD student, MSc. Natural Resource Economics, Universidad de Concepción, Chile.