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. 


  • A. G. Reece, C. M. Danforth. 2017. Instagram photos reveal predictive markers of depression. EPJ Data Science.
  • S. E. Alajajian, J. R. Williams, A. J. Reagan, S. C. Alajajian, M. R. Frank, 50.  L.Mitchell, J. Lahne, C. M. Danforth, P. S. Dodds. 2017. The Lexicocalorimeter: Gauging public health through caloric input and output on social media. PLoS ONE. 
  • A. J. Reagan, L. Mitchell, D. Kiley, C. M. Danforth, P. S. Dodds. 2016. The emotional arcs of stories are dominated by six basic shapes. EPJ Data Science.
  • P. S. Dodds, E. Clark, S. Desu, M. R. Frank, A. Reagan, J. R. Williams, L. Mitchell, 11.K.D. Harris, I. M. Kloumann, J. P. Bagrow, K. Megerdoomian, M. T. McMahon, B. F. Tivnan, C. M. Danforth. 2015. Human Language Reveals a Universal Positivity Bias. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • L. Mitchell, K. D. Harris, M. R. Frank, P. S. Dodds, C. M. Danforth. 2013. The Geography of Happiness: Connecting Twitter sentiment and expression, demographics, and objective characteristics of place. PLoS ONE. 8(5): e64417.

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