Social Computing for Sustainability (SCS)

Computing-driven social and industrial ecology research solving problems at the interface of environment and culture for market and regulatory analysis.

Co-PI: Angela Chen and Truong Nguyen | A project team of i3 at Calit2

Environmental, social, fiscal impacts arising from production and consumption are challenging to engage with in a traditional learning context both as a decision-making consumer (eco-sufficiency) and a manufacturer (eco-efficiency) with sourcing and supplier options. Sustainability, as related to mass consumption and production of industrial commodities, needs context-connection for consumers and manufacturers to understand their impacts. The Social Computing for Sustainability (SCS) group showcases interactive exhibits to help industry partners, government managers, the general public learn about the social ecology of sustainable consumption and production of food, water, and energy.

SCS is an interdisciplinary lab of computer science, environmental systems, behavioral and economic science, business and communications students and researchers. Sponsored by industry collaborators, we use computing-driven social and industrial ecology research to study sustainability impacts behind industrial production in more meaningful and integrative contexts by quantifying those impacts with respect to the market/industry and regulatory/government environment. Our goal is to validate accurate ground-truth information across different industries, starting with value-chain analysis of food production for sustainability, in order to compare cost-driven, regulatory-driven, and value-driven supply chain decision models with this ground truth.

Keywords: Sustainability, Industrial Ecology, Environmental Systems, Behavioral and Management Science, Data Science, Quantitative Computing and Engineering


Angela Chen, Systems Ecologist, Team Lead/Co-PI of Social Computing for Sustainability group, UCSD Division, Calit2; Former Deloitte management consultant (energy, health, IT industries), Country infrastructure design consultant (Asia, Europe), Moody's enterprise software product developer, NASA Principal Investigator, Climate Reality Leadership Corps public speaker trained by former United States VP Al Gore 2013; Visiting Scholar 2012 UC San Diego; M.Phil 2010 Cambridge; B.A. 2005 UC Berkeley.

Industrial and social ecology, Sustainability, Complexity, Evolution, Behavioral & Management Science (market/regulatory governance, infrastructure/process design, change and transition)

Collaborating Faculty (UCSD)

Truong Nguyen, Professor/Vice Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego and Director of the International Innovation Initiative (i3) at Calit2. His current research interests include 3D analysis, modeling and visualization. Nguyen received his Ph.D. in 1989 from Caltech.

Prof. Nguyen manages and facilitates faculty relations for i3 and is i3's faculty sponsor. He came to the Jacobs School in 2001. He manages the Video Processing Group, and teaches courses associated with the Signal Image Processing Program (SIP). He is a 1995 recipient of an NSF career award and is co-author of a popular book: Wavelets and Filter Banks.

James Fowler, Professor of Medical Genetics and Political Science at UC San Diego, Professor Fowler's research is at the intersection of the natural and social sciences, with a focus on social networks, behavior, evolution, politics, genetics, and big data. Fowler received his PhD from Harvard in 2003.

Prof. Fowler is named one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers, TechCrunch's Top 20 Most Innovative People in Democracy, and Most Original Thinker of the year by The McLaughlin Group, and his research named in numerous best-of lists including New York Times Magazine's Year in Ideas, Time's Year in Medicine, Discover Magazine's Year in Science, and Harvard Business Review's Breakthrough Business Ideas.

Current and Previous Industry Collaborators

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters

Tesla Motors

San Diego Water Purification Demo

Angela Chen presents a market and regulatory engagement model.