The Social Decision and Analytics Laboratory (SDAL) focuses on providing information that will aid in better decision-making on issues ranging from urban policy to emergency response. Members of SDAL are experts in fields ranging from economics to urban analytics to game theory.


The Social and Decision Analytics Laboratory is advancing statistical and quantitative social science methods to deliver a more comprehensive understanding of social problems. Our research aims to transform all data into actionable knowledge, integrating novel sources of information, such as mobile technology, embedded sensors, blogs, social media, and location-based tools.


The Social Decision and Analytics Laboratory was founded in September of 2013, headquartered in the Virginia Tech National Capital Region. Led by Director Sallie Keller and Deputy Director Stephanie Shipp, SDAL has developed its world-class statistical and data science capabilities in support of the Biocomplexity Institute’s overarching mission to predict, explain, and visualize the behavior of massively interacting systems. 

Since its founding, SDAL has established long-term partnerships with a variety of organizations including Arlington County, Procter & Gamble, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the United States Census Bureau, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

List of Experts

The Biocomplexity Institute works with local, regional, national and international media to provide journalists with accurate information about current developments in our scientific field. To schedule an interview with one of our experts or request assistance in developing story ideas based on their research, please contact our communications department.

David Higdon
Modeling of environmental and physical systems, inverse problems in hydrology and imaging, statistical modeling in ecology, environmental science, statistical computing

Sallie Keller
Director and Professor
Integration of situational structure, procedural knowledge, and massive amounts of data through computational synthesis; uncertainty quantification, computational and graphical statistics and related software and modeling techniques, and data access and confidentiality

Gizem Korkmaz
Research Assistant Professor
Game theory, social and economic networks, social contagion, collective action, industrial organization, analytics

Vicki Lancaster
Senior Research Scientist
Applied statistics, research methods and design, public health, environmental testing and analysis

Aaron Schroeder
Research Scientist
Research design, methods of data collection, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, policy & implementation, information policy, data management and integration, web-enabled public services, network analysis

Stephanie Shipp
Deputy Director and Research Professor
Statistical analysis for public policy, data infrastructure, survey management, longitudinal analysis, confidentiality, science of science policy, smart and resilient cities, big data

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