Kathleen Carley is a professor in the Engineering and Public Policy Department, Computer Science Department, and Social and Decision Sciences Department at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the director of the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS), a university wide interdisciplinary center that brings together network analysis, computer science and organization science ( and has an associated NSF funded training program for Ph.D. students. Carley's research combines cognitive science, social networks, and computer science to address complex social and organizational problems. Her specific research areas are dynamic network analysis, computational social and organization theory, adaptation and evolution, text mining, the impact of telecommunication technologies and policy on communication, information diffusion, and disease contagion and response within and among groups particularly in disaster or crisis situations.

Carley and her lab have developed infrastructure tools for analyzing large-scale dynamic networks and various multi-agent simulation systems. The infrastructure tools include ORA, a statistical toolkit for analyzing and visualizing multi-dimensional networks. ORA results are organized into reports that meet various needs such as the management report, the mental model report, and the intelligence report. Another tool is AutoMap, a text-mining system for extracting semantic networks from texts and then cross-classifying them using an organizational ontology into the underlying social, knowledge, resource, and task networks. Her simulation models meld multi-agent technology with network dynamics and empirical data. Three of the large-scale multi-agent network models she and the CASOS group have developed in the counter-terrorism area are: BioWar a city-scale dynamic-network agent-based model for understanding the spread of disease and illness due to natural epidemics, chemical spills, and weaponized biological attacks; DyNet a model of the change in covert networks, naturally and in response to attacks, under varying levels of information uncertainty; and RTE, a model for examining state failure and the escalation of conflict at the city, state, nation, and international as changes occur within and among red, blue, and green forces.

Carley is the director of the center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS) which has over 25 members, both students and research staff. She is the founding co-editor with Al Wallace of the journal Computational Organization Theory and has co-edited several books in the computational organizations and dynamic network area.

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Kathleen Carley
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Bots, trolls, and how to safely navigate social media in 2020


1984 Ph.D., Sociology, Harvard University

1979 BS, Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Media mentions


Carley quoted in PBS

CyLab’s Kathleen Carley was quoted in PBS on coronavirus disinformation.


Carley quoted on social media bots

CyLab’s Kathleen Carley was quoted in Vice on social media bots spreading disinformation during the current coronavirus pandemic.

AP News

Carley quoted in AP News

CyLab’s Kathleen Carley was quoted in AP News on online coronavirus misinformation.


Carley quoted on coronavirus disinformation

CyLab’s Kathleen Carley was quoted in WESA on coronavirus disinformation.

CMU Engineering

Q&A with Kathleen Carley

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, disinformation about the virus is spreading at lightning speeds. CyLab's Kathleen Carley has been monitoring the situation.

Carley identifies three types of misinformation during COVID-19 outbreak

As the COVID-19 pandemic works its way around the world, mis- and dis-information about the disease has been deployed "to incite panic and sow confusion," CyLab's Kathleen Carley told USA Today.

Pittsburgh Business Times

CMU creates center to fight online disinformation

Carnegie Mellon has created a new center to study how disinformation is spread online and how to counter its effects. It will be directed by Kathleen Carley of the Institute for Software Research and co-directed by EPP/CyLab’s Douglas Sicker and David Banks, head of Philosophy in Dietrich College.

CMU Engineering

$5M Knight Foundation Investment creates center to fight online disinformation

Carnegie Mellon University today announced the creation of a new research center dedicated to the study of online disinformation and its effects on democracy, funded by a $5 million investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The new center will bring together researchers from within the institution and across the country.

CMU Engineering

Social media bots interfere in Asia-Pacific elections, too

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University wondered: are bots also influencing elections in the Asia-Pacific? Of course they are, says a new study being presented this week at the 2019 SBP-BRiMS conference in Washington, D.C.

Institute for Software Research

Carley receives honorary doctorate from University of Zurich

CyLab/EPP’s Kathleen Carley has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Zurich, Switzerland.


Carley studies fake news and satire in Black Panther tweets

When Black Panther was released, a storm of fake news trolls and malicious social media bots descended upon Twitter. EPP/CyLab’s Kathleen Carley and her graduate students studied the full timeline of the phenomenon.

CMU Engineering

CyLab study: How the Twitter community stopped fake news about Oscar-nominated "Black Panther"

On February 16, 2018, mere hours after Academy Award-nominated "Black Panther" first released to theaters, fake news trolls and malicious social media bots went to work.