The Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS), at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, brings together computer scientists and scholars from a broad range of fields to make advances in computational research that serve public interest. We are currently collaborating on interdisciplinary projects in areas such as conservation and public health. CRCS is informed by a deep knowledge of the societal issues at stake and by a commitment to advancing the human condition through cutting edge collaboration between computational and social science.

Visit here to read the most recent Letter form CRCS Director, Milind Tambe.

CRCS is currently recruiting Postdocs and Summer Fellows! To learn more, visit 2022 CRCS Fellowship.



The focus of Harvard CRCS is to advance computer science research that serves the public interest by prioritizing topics in conservation and public health. CRCS researchers use computing tools and research methods in Artificial Intelligence to help augment decision making on a variety of topics related to health, social services, and wildlife conservation. Problems of prediction, identification, and planning help to leverage and otimize existing resources. Public health topics of current interest include mobile health delivery, tuberculosis medication adherence, COVID 19 spread, suicidality and metal health topics. Conservation topics currently include allocating resources for the prevention of poaching and smuggling. Visit our Research page to learn more.

Elephant drinking at Uganda Falls. Image by Milind Tambe during field research in Uganda




Social networking and to leverage expert perspectives from a range of domains is a crucial component to fostering genuine, real world impact.


Employing computational research methods toward the aim of mitigating challenges for the greater good relies on connectivity among people. CRCS commits to this through education, mentoring, and partnerships. We seek to work with researchers who are enthusiastic about interacting with computer scientists and colleagues from other disciplines and who have a demonstrated interest in connecting their research agenda with societal issues. CRCS also sponsors events and workshops to bring together our community, generate ideas, share methods, and bring attention to AI for Social Impact. 

Most importantly, CRCS cultivates interdisciplinary collaborations to achieve innovative solutions to global challenges as they relate to public health and conservation. Partnerships and the invaluable learned experiences brought by CRCS collaborators builds a major cornerstone of the CRCS organization. Consequently, CRCS firmly commits to supporting researchers from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.
Click here to learn more about CRCS Outreach.


IEEECRCS alumni Fei Fang and Nisarg Shah named IEEE Intelligence Systems "AI's 10 To Watch"

AAAICRCS researcher, Lily Xu's paper, Dual-Mandate Patrols: Multi-Armed Bandits for Green Security, was selected as runner up for best paper at the AAAI 2021 conference

Mongabay published feature on PAWS AI research for Wildlife Conservation
Mongabay published featured on PAWS AI research for Wildlife Conservation


Upcoming CRCS Events

Join us in Fall 2021 for the CRCS Social Impact Seminar Series. The series will explore how artificial intelligence and computing methods can contribute to solving social problems and will bring together researchers and practitioners across artificial intelligence and a range of application domains.
2021 Nov 29

Haifeng Xu (University of Virginia)

11:00am to 12:00pm


Zoom conference - Register at https://forms.gle/UFenSy4JarrhTJEr6

Title: Algorithmic Information Design: Computability, Learnability and Applicability to Societal Challenges 

Abstract: The celebrated field of mechanism design studies how a system designer can design agents' incentives, and consequently their actions, in order to steer their joint decisions towards a desirable outcome. This talk also examines the intervention of agents' actions but through a fundamentally different yet equally important "knob" --- i.e., influencing agents' decisions by designing the available information to each agent. This task,...

Read more about Haifeng Xu (University of Virginia)
2021 Dec 06

Andrew Plumptre (Key Biodiversity Areas)

11:00am to 12:00pm


Zoom conference - Register at https://forms.gle/UFenSy4JarrhTJEr6

Title: How can AI improve the impact of biodiversity conservation

Abstract: Conservation practitioners have to deal with a multitude of different disciplines. These include subjects such as conservation planning which help identify where conservation should be prioritised, to how to most efficiently tackle illegal activities threatening a site, and social aspects such as how to engage local communities in the conservation of a site or to tackle the demand for products. Conservation scientists have to deal with many data inputs which makes it...

Read more about Andrew Plumptre (Key Biodiversity Areas)
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CRCS Opportunities

CRCS is currently recruiting Postdocs and Summer Fellows! To learn more, visit 2022 CRCS Fellowship.