Message From Dean of Social Science Hervé Crès

A new world is unfolding before our eyes and at a remarkably dramatic pace in the wider region, rendering our presence in Abu Dhabi all the more meaningful.

We feel as though we are pioneers on both a crucial scientific and social frontier. We now have ample information to understand and address the major, previously intractable problems that affect human society. We can harvest more than 100 million social media posts a day and use automated text analysis methods to extract relevant data.

Our researchers can access continuous-time location information by cell phone; an effective data gathering technique used in conflict zones. Within our reach is the use of satellite imaging for spatial analysis of more than 35,000 development projects. In these fields, we gather high-quality, relevant, and innovative data putting ourselves on the front lines to enable human progress and contribute wholeheartedly to the data-rich future of social sciences.

Societies face immense challenges but at the same time we have enormous opportunities. By leveraging big data, our studies and analysis can foster sustainable development and urbanization, isolate sources of instability or obstacles, and empower the vulnerable, where anyone can become an entrepreneur. We are a gateway and a testing ground for conducting survey, experimental, and field research to become an inescapable hub for any social scientist working in rising areas of the Middle-East, Africa, and Asia.

Our interconnectedness and closeness to the world drives us, but also our closeness to our student body. Its unique quality and diversity, eloquently depicted by our university leadership, together with the quality of the interaction with students in small classes helps us grasp their dreams and aspirations. These dreams and aspirations oblige us.