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Arnout van de Rijt

Utrecht University 
+31 6 8011 6134 
Arnout van de Rijt is Professor of Sociology and Designated Chair for the UU strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies. Van de Rijt leads the research line Computational Sociology at the Department of Sociology. Van de Rijt received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell University in 2007 and has since then worked as Assistant and Associate Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University in the USA, where he co-led the Center for Computational Social Science. Van de Rijt’s current research focuses on inequality, and in particular the role of rich-get-richer dynamics driving inequality growth. His research seeks answers to questions relating to meritocracy such as under what conditions small, random differences in early success between people can with time, through positive feedback, grow into large gaps between the successful and unsuccessful; or under what conditions a person or thing can dominate a qualitatively superior alternative in popularity. Van de Rijt has also done work on social network analysis, in which he has studied the generative mechanisms behind typical features of social networks such as friendship clusters, segregation by race and gender, and large variation across people in the number of friends they have.