Seth Frey, Ph.D.

Neukom Institute for Computational Science, Dartmouth College

HB 6207 Moore Hall, Hanover, NH 03755 — +1 812 567 3674 —

Frey sounds like ‘fry’



I study human decision behavior in complex social environments, approaching computational social science from the perspectives of behavioral game theory and cognitive science. I work between lab experiments and large online datasets.


2013 Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Informatics, Indiana University, Bloomington.
Focus on cognitive science of strategic reasoning. Advisor: Robert L. Goldstone

2004 B.A. in Cognitive Science, University of California, Berkeley.
Focuses in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology.

Research Experience


2015–present Neukom Postdoctoral Fellow, The William H. Neukom 1964 Institute for Computational Science, Dartmouth College

2013–2015 Postdoctoral researcher, Disney Research Zurich, Walt Disney Imagineering,
The Walt Disney Company

2015 Lecturer, Department of Human, Social, and Political Sciences (D-GESS), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, Switzerland

2010–2013 Trainee, NSF/IGERT in the Dynamics of Brain-Body-Environment Systems, IU

Other training

2009–2013 Student, Robert L. Goldstone, Percepts and Concepts Lab, IU

2010–2013 Student, Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, IU

2012 Student, Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School, Santa Fe, NM, USA

2012 Guest, Yuzuru Sato, RIES Complex Systems, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

2011 Guest, Tatsuya Kameda, Social Psych Lab, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

2009 Student, Elinor Ostrom & Michael McGinnis, Institutional Analysis and Design, Workshop on Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IU

2008 Student, Randall Beer, Beer Lab, Cognitive Science, IU

2006–2008 Student, Yaneer Bar-Yam, New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI)


Ongoing research

Frey, S., Sumner, R .W. “Scaling of governance styles in designer societies.”

Frey, S., Cook, A. “The cognitive dynamics and literary experience of Shakespeare.”

Kapadia, M., Frey, S. “Information theoretic analysis of crowd dynamics.”

Peer-reviewed Archival publications

Frey, S., Donnay, K., Helbing, D., Sumner, R. W., Bos, M. W. (submitted). “The social dimensions of self-influence in a young population online.”

Farré, M., Beltram, P., Petrillo, M., Pont-Tuset, J., Frey, S., Sigal, L., Smolic, A. (submitted) (ACM MMsys)

Frey, S., Goldstone, R. L. (submitted). “Cognitive mechanisms for human flocking dynamics." Working paper available at

Frey, S., Bos, M. W., Sumner, R. W. (submitted) “Human computation for safe, expressive, and scalable user-generated content.”

Frey, S., Williams, P., Albino, D. (in review). “Information encryption in the expert management of strategic uncertainty.” Working paper available at

Frey, S., Goldstone, R. L. (in review). “Does successful small-scale coordination help or hinder coordination at larger scales?” Working paper available at

Baghestanian, S., Frey, S. (in press). “GO Figure: Analytic and strategic skills are separable.” Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics. Available at

Müller, S., Solenthaler, B., Kapadia, M., Frey, S., Klingler, S., Mann, R. P., Sumner, R. W., Gross, M. (2015). "HeapCraft: Interactive Data Exploration and Visualization Tools for Understanding and Influencing Player Behavior in Minecraft." In Motion in Games (ACM MIG)

Müller, S., Kapadia, M., Frey, S., Klingler, S., Solenthaler, B., Mann, R. P., Sumner, R. W., Gross, M. (2015). “Statistical analysis of player behavior in Minecraft.” In Foundations of Digital Games (FDG), Pacific Grove, California.

Müller, S., Frey, S., Kapadia, M., Klingler, S., Mann, R. P., Solenthaler, B., Sumner, R. W., Gross, M. (2015)."Quantifying and Predicting Collaboration in Shared Virtual Worlds." In Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment 2015 (AAAI AIIDE)

Huber, R., Scheibehenne, B., Chapiro, A., Frey, S., Sumner, R. (2015). "The Influence of Visual Salience on Video Consumption Behavior: A Survival Analysis Approach." ACM Web Science, Oxford-United Kingdom, 2015.

Frey, S. (2014). “Mixed human/entity games and the anomalous effects of misattributing strategic agency.” Adaptive Behavior 22(4) 266-276, doi:10.1177/1059712314537090. Available at

Galati, A., Bourchas T., Siby, S., Frey S., Olivares M., Mangold S. (2014) "Mobile-enabled delay tolerant networking in rural developing regions" In IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC 2014).

Frey, S., Goldstone, R. L. (2013). Cyclic game dynamics driven by iterated reasoning. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56416. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056416 Available at

Goldstone, R. L., Wisdom, T. N., Roberts, M. E., Frey, S. (2013). Learning along with others. In B. H. Ross (Ed.), Psychology of Learning and Motivation 58. (pp. 1-45). Academic Press, MA, USA.

Willer, R., Sharkey, A., Frey, S. (2012) Reciprocity on the Hardwood: Passing Patterns among Professional Basketball Players. PLoS ONE 7(12): e49807.

Frey, S., Goldstone, R. L. (2010). Group stratification and coordination failure in a continuous n-player Stag Hunt. 2010 Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society. Available at

Other Selected publications

Frey, S. (2013) “Complex collective dynamics in human higher-level reasoning. A study over multiple methods,” Dissertation, Indiana University. Available at

Müller, S, Kapadia, M, Frey, S., Klinger, S, Mann, RP, Solenthaler, B, Sumner, RW, Gross, M (2015) "HeapCraft Social Tools: Understanding and Improving Player Collaboration in Minecraft." In Foundations of Digital Games, Pacific Grove, California.

Galati, A., Vucadinovic V., Frey S., Olivares M., Mangold S. (2014) “Low-Cost Network Technologies for Socio-Economic Empowerment in Developing Areas” In UNESCO Tech4Dev International Conference 2014.

Cox, G., Frey, S., Dye, M. (2012). The dynamics of sentence (in)comprehension. 2012 Cognitive Science Society.

Frey, S. (2012). Learning transfer in small group coordination. 2012 Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society. Available at

Frey, S., Goldstone, R. L. (2011). Going with the group in a competitive game of iterated reasoning. 2011 Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society. Available at

Deaton, S., Frey, S. (2009). Investigations of attractor behavior over the decay of modular RBNs. 10th European Conference on Artificial Life. Available at

Grants, Honors, and Awards

Major grants, honors, and awards

2015 Neukom Postdoctoral Fellowship, William H. Neukom 1964 Institute for Computational Science, Dartmouth College. Two–three years of support.

2012 Indiana Space Grant Consortium (NASA/INSGC) Fellowship. One year of support.

2010 NSF IGERT Traineeship in the Dynamics of Brain-Body-Environment Systems. Two years of support.

2008 Indiana University Arts and Sciences Graduate Fellowship. One year of support.

2006 NECSI Advanced Training Program Student Fellowship. Two years of support.

Other grants, honors, and awards

2016 CSST Summer Institute. Participant.

2012 NSF IGERT Summer Internship Program. One summer of support.

2012 NSF IGERT Summer Travel Award. One month of travel support.

2012 NSF Travel Grant & Research Fellowship. One month of travel support.

2011 NSF EAPSI. One summer of support.

2011 JSPS Summer Program Fellowship, Hokkaido University. One summer of support.

2009 IU Cognitive Science Supplemental Research Fellowship. One summer of support.


2015 Conference on Complex Systems. Notable talk.

2014 Indiana University Cognitive Science Program. “Outstanding dissertation” award.

2012 IU NSF/IGERT Spring Research Showcase. Best student paper award.

2011 Midwest Cognitive Science Conference. Best student paper award.


Invited Talks

Social cognition with large online game datasets. Keynote at MUCSC, Bloomington, Indiana; MIS Research Seminar, MSU East Lansing.

Governance of online designer societies. SEGS Talk, University of Vermont

Expert information extraction and encryption in online poker. School of Computer Science Colloquium, McGill University; Behavioral Studies Colloquium, ETH Zürich; VRVis Center for Visualization Research, Austria; Economic Psychology, University of Basel; Business Administration, University of Zurich; Disney Data Analytics Conference, The Walt Disney Company.

Cyclic game dynamics driven by iterated reasoning. Helbing Lab, ETH Zürich; Crisis Lab, IMT Lucca; Behavioral Group, University of Warwick; Cognition, Action, & Perception Speaker Series, University of Cincinnati; 2012 NSF/IGERT Competition, NSF IGERT, Washington DC; Behavioral Economics Seminar, Indiana University; Behavioral Sciences Group, Hokkaido University.

Multiple methods in collective behavior. Tech talk, Disney Research.

Institutional analysis of cooperative experience. Fagerstrom Fund, Oberlin College.

Other talks

2015 Conference on Complex Systems (CCS), Tempe, Arizona, USA; 2015 AIII AIIDE Player modeling workshop, Santa Cruz, CA, USA; 2015 FDG, CA, USA; 2015 International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2), Helsinki, Finland; 2015 WebSci, Oxford, UK; 2015 Cognitive Futures, Oxford, UK; 2014 Workshop on interaction networks and collective motion, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland; 2012 Workshop on perceiving and conceiving natural and non-natural agents, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA; 2012 Cognitive Science Society; IGEL 2012, July 10, 2012, Montreal, QC, Canada; Midwest CogSci, Bloomington, IN, USA; 3rd IGERT Spring Research Showcase, April 13, 2012, Bloomington, IN, USA; NASCO Institute, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Midwest CogSci, East Lansing, MI, USA; NASCO Institute, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; 2010 INSNA Sunbelt, Trento, Italy; NetSci 2010, Cambridge, MA, USA; 2009 Institutional Analysis and Design Miniconference, Bloomington, IN, USA.



Courses: Science of Anarchy, 2017; Social Modeling and Mechanism Design, 2015; Brain and Cognition in Cognitive Science, 2013; Experiments and Models in Cognitive Science, 2012; Autonomous Robotics, 2010; Experiments and Models in Cognitive Science, 2009.

Theses and interns supervised: Rafael Huber, intern, Disney Research, 2014; Álvaro Marco, ETH Zürich Bachelor’s thesis, 2014; Stephan Müller, ETH Zürich Master’s thesis, 2015.

Other teaching

2009–2013 Organizer, undergraduate summer reading group, IU

2006 English teacher, Mah’ed Inglizi, Irbid, Jordan

2005 Co-founder, organizer, and teacher, Jamaica Plain Free School Project, Boston, MA

2005 Substitute teacher, Boston Public Schools, Boston, MA

2003 Facilitator, small undergraduate course on systems theory, UC Berkeley

2001–2004 Facilitator, large undergraduate seminar on children’s literature, UC Berkeley

Academic Service

Journal reviewing: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences; Journal of the Royal Society: Interface; Cognitive Science; PLoS ONE; Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Conference reviewing and committees: International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2); Cognitive Futures; European Conference on Cognitive Science; Cognitive Science Society; ACM SIGGRAPH; Collective Intelligence; Midwest Cognitive Science Conference.

Guest editor: Grassroots Economic Organizing, Ostrom Special Issue:

Media and Public Outreach

Popular articles and talks

Hinchliffe, J.P., Frey, S. (2014). "Shakespeare’s Genius is Nonsense." Nautilus, 18.
Available at

Frey, S. (2011) TEDxBloomington, Bloomington, IN, USA.
Video available at


Governance of designer societies. Interviewed for New York Times Magazine feature, 14 April 2016.

Cyclic dynamics driven by iterated reasoning. Interviewed for BBC Radio 4 documentary, 5 Aug, 2015; Featured on Smithsonian Magazine blog, 21 Feb, 2013; Featured on, 19 Feb, 2013; Interviewed in Indiana University Alumni Magazine, Summer 2013; also The Globe and Mail,, and Science Daily.

Institutional analysis of cooperative experience. Interviewed in Ryder Magazine, 2011.

Other Activities

2015 Inventor on two patents filed in area of predictive video analytics

2015 Consulting for major media company, engagement in user-generated content

2013– 2015 Consulting for worker cooperatives, engagement in participatory democracies

2008–2013 Co-founder and board of directors, Bloomington Cooperative Living Inc.

Grew organization’s membership to 50, and its assets from $10,000 to $1 million

2010–2013 Board of directors, National Association of Students of Cooperation (NASCO) Development Services

2008–2010 Paid to solve puzzles, IU Lilly Library Slocum Puzzle Collection

2006 Fired by Buddhists; scientific career begins.