Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulation

Research Highlights

Mini CV

Dirk Helbing is Professor of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulation,and member of the Computer Science Department at ETH Zurich. He earned a PhD in physics and was Managing Director of the Institute of Transport &Economics at Dresden University of Technology in Germany. He is internationally known for his work on pedestrian crowds, vehicle traffic, and agent-based modelsof social systems. Furthermore, he coordinates the FuturICT Initiative (, which focuses on the understanding of techno-socioeconomicsystems, using Smart Data. His work is documented by hundreds of scientific articles, keynote lectures and media reports worldwide. Helbing iselected member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems and of the prestigious German Academy of Sciences "Leopoldina". He isalso Chairman of the Physics of Socio-Economic Systems Division of the German Physical Society and co-founder of ETH Zurich's Risk Center. In 2013, he became a board member of the Global Brain Institute in Brussels. Within the ERC Advanced Investigator Grant "Momentum" he works on social simulations based on cognitive agents. His recent publication in the leading science journal Nature discusses globally networked risks and how to respond. With a publication in the highly prestigious journalScience, he furthermore contributed to unveiling the hiddenlaws of global epidemic spreading. On January 10, 2014, he received a honorary PhD from the TU Delft jointly from the Faculty ofTechnology, Policy and Management and the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.

Research Highlights

An illustrated overview (slides) of the research at the Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulation (SOMS) is provided here.

Social Sciences:

Publications on Game Theory, Crowd Dynamics, Innovation, Cascade Spreading, and Disaster Response Management

Theory of Traffic and Transport:

Statistical Physics:


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© 2015 ETH Zurich | Imprint | Disclaimer | 22 March 2014