Meet a Student: Chenna Reddy Cotla

Chenna Reddy Cotla is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computational Social Science. His research interests lie in Computational and Experimental Economics.

What is your background?

I have an undergrad degree in Information Technology from Indian Institute of Information Technology, Gwalior. Before coming to George Mason, I worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in Machine Learning and Soft Computing group at DISI, University of Genoa, Italy.

Why did you choose CSS at GMU?

CSS in GMU is a very unique program that offers interdisciplinary research opportunity in computer science/social science. After I finished my undergrad, my plan was to use my computer science background to model/study social phenomena. And, CSS PhD program was a perfect place to do it.

What courses have you done and what have you enjoyed about them?

I have done a number of courses in various departments in GMU. One of the beautiful things about CSS PhD program is the 15 credit hours of elective courses and independent research requirement. I used this part of the program to take courses that are very crucial to my interdisciplinary research interests. I have taken courses in Mainstream Economics, Experimental Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science in addition to courses offered at the department of Computational Social Science. In CSS, I benefited a lot from Dr. Rob Axtell’s courses on Agent-Based Computational Economics and Computational Modeling of Social Complexity. All these courses shaped my research background immensely and helped me to think in a very interdisciplinary manner about my dissertation.

What is your research area/PhD topic?

My dissertation is about understanding the complexity of human cooperation using a methodological synergy between behavioral experimentation and agent-based modeling. I work closely with Experimental Economists and Cognitive Scientists along with Computational Social Scientists for my Dissertation work.