Damon Centola

Damon Centola

Professor, Annenberg School of Communication

(215) 898-7954

Annenberg School for Communication (3620 Walnut Street)


Professor of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication
Professor of Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Professor of Sociology, School of Arts and Sciences
Director, Network Dynamics Group
Senior Fellow, Penn LDI, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics
Faculty, Warren Center for Networks and Data Science
Faculty, Master of Behavior and Decision Sciences Program

Damon Centola is a Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication, School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is Director of the Network Dynamics Group.  Before coming to Penn, he was an Assistant Professor at M.I.T. and a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at Harvard University.

His research includes social networks, social epidemiology, and web-based experiments on diffusion and cultural evolution.  His work has been published across several disciplines in journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Journal of Sociology, and Journal of Statistical Physics. Damon received the American Sociological Association’s Award for Outstanding Article in Mathematical Sociology in 2006, 2009, and 2011, and was awarded the ASA’s 2011 Goodman Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Sociological Methodology, the 2017 James Coleman Award for Outstanding Research in Rationality and Society, and the 2019 Harrison White Award for Outstanding Scholarly Book. He was a developer of the NetLogo agent based modeling environment, and was awarded a U.S. Patent for inventing a method to promote diffusion in online networks. He is a member of the Sci Foo community and Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He is the author of How Behavior Spreads (Princeton Press), and CHANGE (Little, Brown & Co.).

Popular accounts of Damon’s work have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal, Wired, TIME, and CNN. His research has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation. He is a series editor for Princeton University Press.


2006 Ph.D., Sociology, Cornell University

CV (file)