Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator

Professor of Computational Social Science, ETH Zurich

Dirk Helbing is Professor of Computational Social Science at the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences and affiliate of the Computer Science Department at ETH Zurich. In January 2014 Prof. Helbing received an honorary PhD from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). Since June 2015 he is affiliate professor at the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at TU Delft, where he leads the PhD school in “Engineering Social Technologies for a Responsible Digital Future”.

Dirk Helbing started as a physicist. With his diploma thesis, he initiated the area of pedestrian, crowd, and evacuation modeling and simulation. During his PhD and habilitation in physics, he helped to establish the fields of socio-, econo- and traffic physics.

He was also co-founder of the Physics of SocioEconomic Systems Division of the German Physical Society (DPG). The work of Prof. Helbing is documented by hundreds of media reports and publications, among them more than 10 papers in Nature, Science, and PNAS.

He won various prizes, including the IDEE-SUISSE Award. He co-founded the Competence Center for Coping with Crises in Complex Socio-Economic Systems, the Risk Center, the Institute for Science, Technology and Policy (ISTP) and the Decision Science Laboratory (DeSciL). While coordinating the FuturICT initiative (, he helped to establish data science and computational social science in Europe, as well as global systems science.

Related summit session