Sam Way

Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Colorado Boulder

Contact: samfway (at)


  • 10.23.18 – New publication: "Prestige drives epistemic inequality in the diffusion of scientific ideas" in EPJ Data Science.
  • 7.14.18 – Presenting work with Spotify today at the Int'l Conference on Computational Social Science: "Environmental Changes and the Dynamics of Musical Identity."
  • 6.05.18 – I'm giving a talk today at the Complexity of Educational Ecosystems meeting at the Santa Fe Institute. My presentation shares how my collaborators and I are using complex systems research to inform policy decisions in academia.
  • 3.07.18 – Aaron Clauset is presenting our work "Faculty hiring and the spread of scientific ideas" today at CompleNet 2018. Slides available here.
  • 10.17.17"The misleading narrative of the canonical faculty productivity trajectory" was published today in PNAS. An update version of the paper is also available on the arXiv.
  • 7.7.17 – Today I successfully defended my dissertation, "Systematic Inequality in the Composition and Productivity of Computer Science Faculty".
  • 4.10.17 – Excited to say that I'll be spending the summer working with the Core Data Science team at Facebook in California.


Prestige drives epistemic inequality in the diffusion of scientific ideas. Allison C. Morgan, Dimitrios Economou, Samuel F. Way, and Aaron Clauset. EPJ Data Science 7:40, 2018.
Automatically assembling a full census of an academic field Allison C. Morgan, Samuel F. Way, and Aaron Clauset. PLOS One 13(8): e0202223, 2018.
Network assembly of scientific communities of varying size and specificity Daniel Citron and Samuel F. Way. Journal of Informetrics 12.1: 181-190, 2018.
The misleading narrative of the canonical faculty productivity trajectory. Samuel F. Way, Allison C. Morgan, Aaron Clauset, and Daniel B. Larremore. PNAS 114(44): E9216-E9223, 2017. Presented at ICWSM and IC2S2.
Ablation as Targeted Perturbation to Rewire Communication Network of Persistent Atrial Fibrillation Susumu Tao, Samuel F. Way, ... , and Hiroshi Ashikaga. PLOS One 12(7): e0179459, 2017.
Gender, Productivity, and Prestige in Computer Science Faculty Hiring Networks. Samuel F. Way, Daniel B. Larremore, and Aaron Clauset. Proc. 25th Int'l World Wide Web Conf. (WWW), 2016.
Quantifying convergence in the sciences. Sara Lumbreras, Penny Mealy, Christopher Verzijl, and Samuel F. Way. Pensamiento: Revista de Investigación e Información filosófica, 2016.
Synthesis aided design: The biological design-build-test engineering paradigm? Ryan T. Gill, Andrea L. Halweg-Edwards, Aaron Clauset, and Samuel F. Way. Biotechnol. Bioeng., 113: 7–10, 2015.
Assembling thefacebook: Using heterogeneity to understand online social network assembly. Abigail Z. Jacobs, Samuel F. Way, Johan Ugander and Aaron Clauset. Proc. 7th ACM Intl Conf. on Web Science (WebSci), 2015.
Which is more important for classifying microbial communities: who's there or what they can do? Zhenjiang Xu, Daniel Malmer, Morgan Langille, Samuel F. Way, and Rob Knight. ISME J. 2014 Dec; 8(12): 2357-9.
RAIphy: Phylogenetic classification of metagenomics samples using iterative refinement of relative abundance index profiles. Ozkan U. Nalbantoglu, Samuel F. Way, Steven H. Hinrichs, and Khalid Sayood. BMC Bioinformatics 2011, 12:41.
A grammar-based distance metric enables fast and accurate clustering of large sets of 16S sequences. David J. Russell, Samuel F. Way, Andrew K. Benson, and Khalid Sayood. BMC Bioinformatics 2010, 11:601.

Publications In Preparation

Productivity, prominence, and the effects of academic environment. Samuel F. Way, Allison C. Morgan, Daniel B. Larremore, and Aaron Clauset. Submitted.
Environmental Changes and the Dynamics of Musical Identity. Samuel F. Way, Santiago Gil, Ian Anderson, and Aaron Clauset. Submitted.
Safe leads and losing strategy in professional basketball. Samuel F. Way. In prepartation.

Slide decks


About Me

I'm a computer scientist and postdoctoral research associate the University of Colorado at Boulder. My research interests lie mostly within the emerging field of computational social science, leveraging online sources of data and mathematical modeling to yield new insights into human health and behavior.

Non-academic things about me: I love music, both playing and listening. Recently I've been listening more than playing, but in the past, I played in jazz ensembles and in a handful of bands, ranging from blues/funk to reggae. I consider myself a foodie in training and love to cook. I'm a huge basketball fan. I love the outdoors and exploring new places. I appreciate art and design and aspire to build furniture in my free time. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I'm always on the lookout for ways to move items from the "non-academic list" to the "academic list" – let me know if you'd like to help!