Gund Fellow, Flint Professor of Mathematical, Natural, and Technical Sciences, Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Chris Danforth’s background is in the application of Chaos Theory to weather and climate prediction. His current work is in Computational Social Science, exploring human behavior through social media data.

Danforth is the co-inventor of, a socio-technical instrument measuring daily happiness based on 100 billion Twitter messages. He has also developed algorithms to identify predictors of depression from Instagram photos. His research has been covered by the New York Times, Science Magazine, and the BBC among others. 



  • Nature Exposure is Associated With Reduced Smartphone Use. K. Minor, K. L. Glavind, A. J. Schwartz, C. M. Danforth, S. Lehmann, A. Bjerre-Nielsen. Environment and Behavior. 2023.
  • Spatial changes in park visitation at the onset of the pandemic. K. Linnell, M. Fudolig, A. Schwartz, T. H. Ricketts, J. P. M. O'Neil-Dunne, P. S. Dodds, C. M. Danforth. PLOS Global Health. 2022.
  • Gauging the happiness benefit of US urban parks through Twitter. A. J. Schwartz, P. S. Dodds, J. P. M. O’Neil-Dunne, T. H. Ricketts, C. M. Danforth. PLOS ONE. 2022.
  • Visitors to urban greenspace have higher sentiment and lower negativity on Twitter. A. J. Schwartz, P. S. Dodds, J. P. M. O'Neil-Dunne, C. M. Danforth, T. H. Ricketts. People & Nature. 2019.
  • Instagram photos reveal predictive markers of depression. A. G. Reece, C. M. Danforth. EPJ Data Science. 2017.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Chaos, mathematical modeling, computational methods, numerical weather prediction, complex systems, computational social science


  • PhD, Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation, University of Maryland
  • MS, Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation, University of Maryland
  • BS, Math and Physics, Bates College


  • 802-656-3032
Office Location:

218 Farrell, UVM

  1. Personal Website