Panagiotis “Takis” Metaxas is a Professor of Computer Science at Wellesley College and the Faculty Director of the Albright Institute for Global Affairs. His current projects involve studying the power of crowdsourcing on social networks, primarily related to the prediction of political events, and understanding how misinformation propagates online.
Prof. Metaxas studied Mathematics at the University of Athens (Greece) and Computer Science at Brown University and at Dartmouth College, where he received his Ph.D. In the past, he has been a visiting scientist at the Computer Science AI Lab of MIT, Sydney University (Australia), and the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS) at Harvard University. At Wellesley, he founded the Media Arts and Sciences program and the Scholarly Communications Group that oversees the implementation of the Open Access Policy.
In the last decade, Prof. Metaxas has been researching many aspects related to the propagation of information and misinformation, the prediction of political events, and with members of his Social Informatics Lab, he developed tools that help users evaluate the trustworthiness of information. In particular, research in his Lab has documented the shifting ways that students rely on the Web for information; the efforts of individuals, groups, and companies to manipulate the ranking of search query results; the first Twitter Bomb, Google bombs; the evolution of the “fake news” phenomenon; and other examples of online propaganda using algorithmic techniques. The Lab has also analyzed the reasons behind the unpredictability of electoral results based solely on data from online social networks.