Growing use of the Internet and social media in the past decade has led to an explosion in the amount of social and behavioral data available to researchers. This in turn has created huge opportunities for social scientists to study human behavior and social interaction in unprecedented detail. 

Leveraging these opportunities requires collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts involving computer and information scientists, physicists, and mathematicians who know how to build the "telescope" and economists, political scientists, and sociologists who know where to aim it.

Computational social science exists at the intersection of these varied disciplines.