Björn Ross

Björn Ross

Lecturer in Computational Social Science (he/him)

University of Edinburgh

I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Computational Social Science at the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics, in the Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation. In my research, I use computer science methods from agent-based modelling, natural language processing and social network analysis to study social media and related technologies. A key focus of my research is to explore negative aspects of social media, such as misinformation, hate speech, and the malicious use of automation (bots), as well as how social media can be used effectively for the benefit of society, such as in crisis communication. I also examine issues with these methods, from data collection practices to research data management.

At Edinburgh, I am a co-director of the SMASH group. Before working here, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen, where I also completed my PhD in the Research Training Group User-Centred Social Media. I am a member of the Association for Information Systems.


  • Computational social science
  • Social computing
  • Information systems
  • Social media analytics and communication
  • Social network analysis, agent-based modelling and simulation, natural language processing and text classification for social media


  • PhD, 2019

    University of Duisburg-Essen

  • MSc in Computer Science, 2016

    University of Münster

  • Exchange year, 2014-5

    University of Strasbourg

  • BSc in Information Systems, 2013

    University of Münster


Current PhD students

I am currently supervising two PhD students who started in September 2020 in the Centre for Doctoral Training in NLP. Agostina Calabrese is working on explainable models to detect abusive language online, while Eddie Ungless researches social biases in text analysis services. We are all members of the SMASH group within the School of Informatics.

Prospective students

I am looking for more talented and motivated PhD students to join our group. If you are interested in pursuing a PhD and working with us, please familiarise yourself with my research and send me an email with your research interests and CV. If I think that it could be a good fit, we can then talk over Skype where I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Please also have a look at the relevant information on the web pages of the School, Institute and NLP CDT, where you can learn about the application process and funding options. The application deadlines for starting your PhD in September 2021 are in late 2020 and early 2021, so the earlier you contact me, the better.