Bio


I study the social and organizational dynamics of educational systems like schools, classrooms and universities. In particular, I have performed a series of studies on classroom organization and interaction; on the formation of adolescent relationships, social structures, and identities; on interdisciplinary collaboration and intellectual innovation; and on relational sociology. I have broad research interests and have been drawn into a variety of interdisciplinary collaborations with linguists and computer scientists. This in turn has led to studies of big data and methodological advances in social networks and language modeling.

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • Director, Stanford Center for Computational Social Science (2012 - 2016)

Honors & Awards


  • Gould Award, American Journal of Sociology (2013-14)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2014-17)

Professional Education


  • PhD/MA, University of Chicago, Sociology, Sociology
  • BA, University of Chicago, Philosophy

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


I am currently engaged in several projects.
1. I am writing a textbook on Social Network Analysis in R.
2. I am writing up a series of papers on how micro-events in interaction relate to social networks.
3. However, the majority of my current research projects concern the sociology of science and research innovation.

2016-17 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Ethnic Composition and Friendship Segregation: Differential Effects for Adolescent Natives and Immigrants AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY Smith, S., van Tubergen, F., Maas, I., McFarland, D. A. 2016; 121 (4): 1223-1272
  • Streams of Thought: Knowledge Flows and Intellectual Cohesion in a Multidisciplinary Era SOCIAL FORCES Rawlings, C. M., McFarland, D. A., Dahlander, L., Wang, D. 2015; 93 (4): 1687-1722

    View details for DOI 10.1093/sf/sov004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355663700044

  • Network Ecology and Adolescent Social Structure AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW McFarland, D. A., Moody, J., Diehl, D., Smith, J. A., Thomas, R. J. 2014; 79 (6): 1088-1121
  • The Semiformal Organization ORGANIZATION SCIENCE Biancani, S., McFarland, D. A., Dahlander, L. 2014; 25 (5): 1306-1324
  • Network Ecology and Adolescent Social Structure. Forthcoming, American Sociological Review McFarland, D. A., Moody, J., Diehl, D., Smith, J., Thomas, R. J. 2014
  • The Semi-Formal Organization Organization Science, Permalink: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2013.0882 Biancani, S., Dahlander, L., McFarland, D. A. 2014
  • Encouraging Forum Participation in Online Courses with Collectivist, Individualist, and Neutral Motivational Framings. eLearning Papers Kizilcec, R., Schneider, E., Cohen, G., McFarland, D. A. 2014; 37
  • Hierarchical models for relational event sequences JOURNAL OF MATHEMATICAL PSYCHOLOGY DuBois, C., Butts, C. T., Mcfarland, D., Smyth, P. 2013; 57 (6): 297-309
  • Differentiating language usage through topic models POETICS McFarland, D. A., Ramage, D., Chuang, J., Heer, J., Manning, C. D., Jurafsky, D. 2013; 41 (6): 607-625
  • Making the Connection: Social Bonding in Courtship Situations AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY McFarland, D. A., Jurafsky, D., Rawlings, C. 2013; 118 (6): 1596-1649

    View details for DOI 10.1086/670240

    View details for Web of Science ID 000321045300004

  • Transdisciplinary translational science and the case of preterm birth JOURNAL OF PERINATOLOGY Stevenson, D. K., Shaw, G. M., Wise, P. H., Norton, M. E., Druzin, M. L., Valantine, H. A., McFarland, D. A. 2013; 33 (4): 251-258

    Abstract

    Medical researchers have called for new forms of translational science that can solve complex medical problems. Mainstream science has made complementary calls for heterogeneous teams of collaborators who conduct transdisciplinary research so as to solve complex social problems. Is transdisciplinary translational science what the medical community needs? What challenges must the medical community overcome to successfully implement this new form of translational science? This article makes several contributions. First, it clarifies the concept of transdisciplinary research and distinguishes it from other forms of collaboration. Second, it presents an example of a complex medical problem and a concrete effort to solve it through transdisciplinary collaboration: for example, the problem of preterm birth and the March of Dimes effort to form a transdisciplinary research center that synthesizes knowledge on it. The presentation of this example grounds discussion on new medical research models and reveals potential means by which they can be judged and evaluated. Third, this article identifies the challenges to forming transdisciplines and the practices that overcome them. Departments, universities and disciplines tend to form intellectual silos and adopt reductionist approaches. Forming a more integrated (or 'constructionist'), problem-based science reflective of transdisciplinary research requires the adoption of novel practices to overcome these obstacles.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/jp.2012.133

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316833300001

    View details for PubMedID 23079774

  • Ties That Last: Tie Formation and Persistence in Research Collaborations over Time ADMINISTRATIVE SCIENCE QUARTERLY Dahlander, L., McFarland, D. A. 2013; 58 (1): 69-110
  • Social Networks Research in Higher Education. Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research Biancani, S., McFarland, D. A. 2013; 28: 151-215
  • Detecting friendly, flirtatious, awkward, and assertive speech in speed-dates COMPUTER SPEECH AND LANGUAGE Ranganath, R., Jurafsky, D., McFarland, D. A. 2013; 27 (1): 89-115
  • Hierarchical Models for Relational Event Sequences. Journal of Mathematical Psychology Dubois, C., Butts, C. T., Mcfarland, D. A., Smyth, P. 2013; 57 (6): 607-625
  • Differentiating Language Usage Through Topic Models. Poetics McFarland, D. A., Manning, C. D., Ramage, D., Chuang, J., Heer, J., Jurafsky, D. 2013; 41 (6): 607-625
  • Ties that Last: A Longitudinal Study of Tie Formation and Persistence. Administrative Science Quarterly Dahlander, L., McFarland, D. A. 2013; 58 (1): 69-110
  • Making the Connection: Social Bonding in Courtship Situations. American Journal of Sociology McFarland, D. A., Jurafsky, D., Rawlings, C. 2013; 118 (6): 1596-1649
  • Measurement error in network data: A re-classification SOCIAL NETWORKS Wang, D. J., Shi, X., McFarland, D. A., Leskovec, J. 2012; 34 (4): 396-409
  • Classroom Ordering and the Situational Imperatives of Routine and Ritual SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION Diehl, D., McFarland, D. A. 2012; 85 (4): 326-349
  • Measurement error in social network data: A re-classification. Social Networks Wang, D. J., Shi, X., McFarland, D. A., Leskovec, J. 2012; 34 (4)
  • Detecting Friendly, Flirtatious, Awkward, and Assertive Speech in Speed-Dates. Computer Speech and Language Ranganath, R., Jurafsky, D., McFarland, D. A. 2012; 27 (1): 89-115
  • Classroom Ordering and the Situational Imperatives of Routine and Ritual. Sociology of Education Diehl, D., McFarland, D. A. 2012; 85 (4): 326-349
  • Transdisciplinary Translational Science and The Case of Preterm Birth. The Journal of Perinatology Stevenson, D. K., Shaw, G. M., Wise, P. H., Norton, M. E., Druzin, M. L., McFarland, D. A. 2012: 1-8
  • Influence flows in the academy: Using affiliation networks to assess peer effects among researchers SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH Rawlings, C. M., McFarland, D. A. 2011; 40 (3): 1001-1017
  • The Ties that Influence: How Social Networks Channel Faculty Grant Productivity. Social Science Research Rawlings, C., McFarland, D. A. 2011; 40: 1001-1017
  • Network Search: A New Way of Seeing the Education Knowledge Domain TEACHERS COLLEGE RECORD Mcfarland, D., Klopfer, E. 2010; 112 (10): 2664-2702
  • Toward a Historical Sociology of Social Situations AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY Diehl, D., Mcfarland, D. 2010; 115 (6): 1713-1752
  • Network Search: Utilizing Technology and the Sociology of Knowledge to Revolutionize the Field of Education. Teachers College Record McFarland, D. A., Klopfer, E. 2010; 112 (10): 8-9
  • Towards a Historical Sociology of Situations. Towards a Historical Sociology of Situations. Diehl, D., McFarland, D. A. 2010; 115 (6): 1713-1752
  • Organization by Design: Supply- and Demand-side Models of Mathematics Course Taking SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION McFarland, D. A., Rodan, S. 2009; 82 (4): 315-343
  • Organization by Design: Supply- and Demand-Side Models of Math Careers. Sociology of Education McFarland, D. A., Klopfer, E. 2009; 82 (4): 315-343
  • Inside Student Government: The Variable Quality of High School Student Councils TEACHERS COLLEGE RECORD McFarland, D. A., Starmanns, C. 2009; 111 (1): 27-54
  • Inside Student Government. Teachers College Record McFarland, D. A., Starmanns, C. 2009; 11 (1): 27-54
  • Curricular flows: Trajectories, turning points, and assignment criteria in high school math careers SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION McFarland, D. A. 2006; 79 (3): 177-205
  • Bowling young: How youth voluntary associations influence adult political participation AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW McFarland, D. A., Thomas, R. J. 2006; 71 (3): 401-425
  • Curricular Flows: Trajectories, Turning Points, and Assignment Criteria in High School Math Careers. American Sociological Review McFarland, D. A., Thomas, R. 2006; 71 (3): 177-205
  • The Art and Science of Dynamic Network Visualization. Journal of Social Structure, Permalink: http://www.cmu.edu/joss/content/articles/volume7/deMollMcFarland/ Bender-deMoll , S., McFarland, D. A. 2006; 7 (2)
  • Motives and contexts of identity change: A case for network effects 98th Annual Meeting of the American-Sociological-Association McFarland, D., Pals, H. SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2005: 289–315
  • Motives and Contexts of Identity Change: A Case for Network Effects. Social Psychology Quarterly McFarland, D. A., Pals, H. 2005; 68 (4): 289-315
  • Dynamic network visualization AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY Moody, J., McFarland, D., Bender-deMoll, S. 2005; 110 (4): 1206-1241
  • Dynamic Network Visualization. American Journal of Sociology Moody, J., McFarland, D. A., Bender-deMoll, S. 2005; 110 (4): 1206-1241
  • Resistance as a social drama: A study of change-oriented encounters AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY McFarland, D. A. 2004; 109 (6): 1249-1318
  • Resistance as a Social Drama – A Study of Change-Oriented Encounters. American Journal of Sociology McFarland, D. A. 2004; 109 (6): 1249-1318
  • When tensions mount: Conceptualizing classroom situations and the conditions of student-teacher conflict Conference on Stability and Change in American Education McFarland, D. A. ELIOT WERNER PUBLIATIONS INC. 2003: 127–150
  • Student resistance: How the formal and informal organization of classrooms facilitate everyday forms of student defiance AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY McFarland, D. A. 2001; 107 (3): 612-678
  • Student Resistance: How the Formal and Informal Organization of Classrooms Facilitate Everyday Forms of Student Defiance. American Journal of Sociology McFarland, D. A. 2001; 107 (3): 612-678