Social Science Matrix is UC Berkeley’s new (2013) flagship institute for social scientific research. Drawing on Berkeley’s strength in the disciplinary social sciences, Matrix offers a collaborative environment designed to promote new interdisciplinary research questions and to incubate creative new transdisciplinary research programs. Our aim is to adapt, redeploy, and expand Berkeley’s existing research assets to better address the increasingly rapid pace of innovation in research design and to foster the increasingly cross-disciplinary skill sets required to produce cutting-edge multi-methodological social science.
Bill Hanks is the Director of Social Science Matrix, as well as a Professor of Anthropology, Affiliated Professor of Linguistics and Berkeley Distinguished Chair in Linguistic Anthropology. His work lies at the intersection of Anthropology, Linguistics and History, with a specialization in Mayan languages and cultures. He has conducted extensive archival research on colonial Mexico and ethnographic fieldwork in Yucatan, Mexico.
Among Bill’s books and many articles are Referential Practice, Language and Lived Space among the Maya (Chicago, 1990), a study of ordinary practices of referring in Yucatec Maya, Language and Communicative Practices (Westview, 1996), which outlines a synthetic approach to language as social practice, and Converting Words, Maya in the Age of the Age of the Cross (University of California Press, 2010), a study of the colonial formation of modern Maya, and winner of the Edward Sapir Book Prize from the Society for Linguistic Anthropology. Bill is currently working on translation theory and co-directs research groups in Paris and Tokyo.
A former Guggenheim fellow, Bill chaired the Board of University Publications at Chicago for three years, the Department of Anthropology at Berkeley for five years and served for eight years on the Scientific Board of the Fyssen Foundation, Paris. He has taught and lectured in France, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Finland, Mexico and Japan. He received his B.S. in French from the School of Languages and Linguistics at Georgetown (1975), the M.A. in Linguistics (1978) and Joint Ph.D. in Linguistics and Anthropology at Chicago (1983). He remained on the faculty of both departments at Chicago through Full Professor in 1996, when he took up the Milton H. Wilson Chair in the Humanities at Northwestern. He joined Berkeley in 2000 and taught at University of Texas, Austin 2009-2010. Bill is a member of the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale at the Collège de France.
Nils Gilman is Executive Director of Social Science Matrix. He holds an B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley. Nils’s first scholarly interest was in American and European intellectual history, with a particular focus on the institutional development of the social sciences, the lateral transfer and translation of ideas across disciplinary boundaries, and the impact of social scientific ideas on politics and policy.
Nils is the author of Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004), the co-editor of Staging Growth: Modernization, Development, and the Global Cold War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2003) and Deviant Globalization: Black Market Economy in the 21st Century (Continuum Press, 2011), as well as the founding Co-editor of Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development. He also blogs and tweets.
Prior to joining Social Science Matrix in September 2013, Nils Gilman was Research Director at Monitor 360, a San Francisco consultancy that addresses complex, cross-disciplinary global strategic challenges for governments, multinational businesses, and NGOs. He has also worked at a variety of enterprise software companies, including Salesforce.com, BEA Systems, and Plumtree Software. Nils has taught and lectured at a wide variety of venues, from Harvard University, Columbia University, and National Defense University, to PopTech, the European Futurists Conference, and the Long Now Foundation.
Cathryn Carson is Associate Professor of History, specializing in history of physics. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University and her B.A. from University of Chicago.
Professor of History Carla Hesse is a prize-winning scholar with 20 years of experience teaching at Berkeley. She holds the Peder Sather Chair in the Department of History, and in 2007 won the prestigious Aby Warburg Prize. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University and her B.A. from UC Santa Cruz.
Eva Seto is the Research Development Leader of the Social Science Matrix. She directs Grant Management and Administration. Her background as a researcher brings insight and knowledge to help facilitate administration of extramural funding. She earned her M.A. and B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley.
Social Science Matrix is home to a large collection of UC Berkeley research centers producing cutting edge research on everything from the demography of aging to management of catastrophic events.Learn More
Social Science Matrix supports over 60 funded research projects by individual Principal Investigators. Most projects are funded by extramural grants obtained by the PI, while a modest number are pilot projects funded by the Matrix.Learn More
Faculty wishing to explore the possibilities of new, collaborative research can receive financial and staff support from SSM to establish Working Groups. The highest priority is given to path-breaking collaborations across disciplines.Learn More
Starting a research project can be a daunting task. Social Science Matrix was created to help make it easier, providing support for affiliated investigators setting out to create a new research project.
Part of the our mission is to make it easier for investigators to obtain and use extramural support for their research. To do this, the Institute’s staff work closely with an embedded team of administrators from Research Enterprise Services.
Our grants administration team is dedicated to supporting interdisciplinary and collaborative projects across the social sciences. The grants administration team helps with every aspect of the grant process so that you can focus on your research.