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.



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 ConservationMongabay published feature on PAWS AI research for Wildlife Conservation

Upcoming CRCS Events

Join us on January 25 through April 19 for the AI for Social Impact Seminar Series. The series will explore how artificial intelligence can contribute to solving social problems and will bring together researchers and practitioners across artificial intelligence and a range of application domains.
2021 Apr 19

Michael J. Mina, MD, PhD (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School)

11:00am to 12:00pm


Zoom conference - Register at https://crcs.seas.harvard.edu/ai-social-impact

Title: Advances in virology, immunology, and computation to monitor and control outbreaks

Abstract: Advances in biological and computational sciences have enabled massive leaps in basic research and medicine over the recent decades. Relative to these medical advances, advances in public health and particularly infectious diseases have been modest. The SARS-CoV2 pandemic has shown us the consequences of investing so fully in medicine without a strong foundation of public health. This talk will provide examples of the...

Read more about Michael J. Mina, MD, PhD (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School)
2021 Apr 20

Rising Stars Speaker Series

Repeats every 3 weeks every Tuesday, 1 times . Also includes Thu Apr 08 2021, Tue Apr 20 2021, Thu Apr 29 2021.
12:00pm to 1:30pm


Virtual (See registration links below)

Spring 2021 update: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be hosting a full in-person or virtual CRCS Rising Stars workshop in March 2021. We hope to return to hosting the in-person version of the Rising Stars Workshop in Spring 2022.

Instead, this year we are excited to host a virtual CRCS Rising Stars Speaker Series! Each talk in the series will feature 12 minute presentations from 4 PhD students and postdoctoral candidates who were nominated by experts in the field as having...

Read more about Rising Stars Speaker Series
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