Home | People |

Seth Frey


  • Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Informatics at Indiana University, 2013
  • B.A. in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley, 2004


I am an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of California, Davis, in the Computational Communication lab. I am currently on leave as a fellow at Dartmouth College’s interdisciplinary Neukom Institute for Computational Science. Before Dartmouth, I was a postdoctoral researcher at Disney Research, a part of Walt Disney Imagineering, where I applied my expertise to both theoretical and practical questions about engineered social systems. In 2013, I earned a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Informatics at Indiana University, after two years at the New England Complex Systems Institute. I earned my B.A. in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley in 2004. 


Research Focus

As a socially and computationally inflected cognitive scientist, I study human decision behavior in complex social environments. In practice, I work back and forth between data science, behavioral experiments, and modeling to answer quantitative questions about human organizations, institutions, and communication. Some relevant research keywords include computational social science, strategic behavior, higher-level reasoning, science of cooperatives, Ostrom Workshop, quantitative models of institutional evolution, online games, online communities, self-governance, cooperatives.

If you are a student or aspiring graduate student who is inquisitive and interested in a data science training, particularly its applications at the intersection of communication, cognition, games, complex systems, or any combination of the above keywords, I'll be happy to talk. 


Selected Publications


  • CMN 151 Simulating Communication Processes
  • CMN 212 Web Science Research Methods
  • CMN 213 Simulation Methods in Communication Research