Welcome to my homepage. I am professor of sociology at the Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyMy chair is part of the Institute of Technology Futures, and focusses on sociology and computational social science. In addition, I am the scientific director of the Methods Lab at KIT's House of Competence.

My general research interest concerns collective action and social integration in social networks. I use computational modeling techniques to develop new hypotheses. To test these hypotheses, I have gathered longitudinal network data in several organizations and conducted laboratory experiments. In the past years, my focus has shifted towards process of opinion polarization and the spreading of falsehoods in online communication systems. For instance, I develop computer models of online social networks and study the effects of filter bubbles, and social bots. I test model assumptions and predictions with observational data from the web and field experiments.

Before moving to Karlsruhe, I was assistant professor at the Department of Sociology and the ICS at the University of Groningen. Before that, I was senior scientist at ETH Zurich.

I taught model building, sociological theory, and research methodology in the undergraduate Sociology program of the University of Leipzig, and the University of Groningen, as well as at ETH Zurich and the KIT.



Principal publications

Michael Mäs, and Dirk Helbing (2017, online first) Random deviations improve micro-macro predictions. An empirical test. Sociological Methods and Research.

Michael Mäs, and Karl-Dieter Opp (2016) When is ignorance bliss? Disclosing true information and cascades of norm violation in networks. Social Networks. 116-129

Michael Mäs, and Heinrich Nax (2016) A behavioral study of “noise” in coordination games. Journal of Economic Theory162. 195-208

Mäs Michael, Andreas Flache, Károly Takács, and Karen Jehn (2013) In the short term we divide, in the long term we unite: Demographic crisscrossing and the effects of faultlines on subgroup polarization. Organization Science 24: 716-736

Mäs Michael, Andreas Flache, and Dirk Helbing (2010) Individualization as Driving Force of Clustering Phenomena in Humans. PLoS Computational Biology 6


  • I moved from Groningen to Karlsruhe Since November 2020, I am professor of sociology at the KIT, a technical university in Karlsruhe, Germany.Leaving Groningen was a difficult step. I love the city, the Faculty of ...
    Posted Nov 10, 2020, 3:14 AM by Michael Maes
  • Workshop on validating models of opinion polarization at EUROCSS We had a great workshop on Validating Models of Opinion Polarization in the Digital Era at the European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science. Thanks to my ...
    Posted Sep 2, 2019, 11:05 PM by Michael Maes
  • ORA Grant for empirical and theoretical research on social influence in networks We have received funding for our project “ToRealSim: Towards realistic computational models of social influence dynamics”. The grant has a volume of 1.2 million Euro. 63 out of initially ...
    Posted Nov 4, 2018, 5:35 PM by Michael Maes
  • Communication in Online Social Networks Fosters Cultural Isolation Together with Marijn Keijzer, and Andreas Flache, I published a paper in Complexity. You can find it here.Abstract: Online social networks play an increasingly important role in communication between ...
    Posted Nov 4, 2018, 5:21 PM by Michael Maes
  • New working paper on the complexity approach to sociology I just uploaded a new article to the SSNR. You can download it here.Abstract In the sociological literature, there is an increasing number of contributions with an approach inspired ...
    Posted Feb 24, 2018, 6:36 AM by Michael Maes
  • Tenure! I got promoted and got tenure. Thanks RuG and thanks to everyone who supported me in the past years. The comic is from:  "Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham ...
    Posted Feb 22, 2018, 9:19 AM by Michael Maes
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