Associate Professor, Department of Sociology; Director, Knowledge Lab; Faculty Director, Masters Program in Computational Social Science

Faculty Research Grant Recipient, Growing the Tree of Knowledge

External Profile


Professor Evan's work focuses on the collective system of thinking and knowing, ranging from the distribution of attention and intuition, the origin of ideas and shared habits of reasoning to processes of agreement (and dispute), accumulation of certainty (and doubt), and the texture — novelty, ambiguity, topology — of understanding. Professor Evans is the Director of Knowledge Lab, which has collaborative, granting and employment opportunities, as well as ongoing seminars. He also founded and now directs the Computational Social Science program at Chicago, and sponsors an associated Computational Social Science workshop.

Growing the Tree of Knowledge aims to build a crowd-sourcing platform for large scale collaborative data gathering and checking. While many crowd-sourcing platforms exist, none have all the tools required to not only build, but also to curate, correct, and annotate the work of others, leaving sufficient annotation that would facilitate collective deliberation over the accuracy of mentorship annotations. 

An international group of librarians and citizen-scientists will pilot the program in the study of new research communities in philosophy, history, physics, data and information science, and sociology. This project will be in collaboration with information scientist Jevin West of the University of Washington, neurotree founder and neuroscientist Steven David of Oregon Health Sciences University, and historian of law, criminology, and political science, Sacha Raoult of AIX Marseille.