College of Social SciencesUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa
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Department of Sociology

 

People

Faculty | Emeritus & Retired | Visiting | Affiliate | Lecturers | Graduate Students | Staff | On the Job Market

Sun-Ki Chai

Sun-Ki Chai

Professor

History

Education:
B.S. Mathematical Sciences, M.S. Computer Science, PhD. Political Science, Each from Stanford University

 

Interests

Research:
My main theoretical project is to produce general and predictive models of cultural change, compatible with instrumental/rational models of action. At the individual level, my efforts have been directed at an endogenous model of preference and belief formation, while at the group level they are directed a model of social norm formation. My main substantive interest is crossnational study of the sociocultural bases for economic and political development. More specifically, I am interested in studying the intersection between culture and rationality in the formation of economic institutions, as well as in building predictive models of the process of ethnic identity formation, with a primary area focus on East Asia. Both substantive areas provide cases for the theoretical models I am developing. Recently, I have worked on projects that implement my theoretical models of culture within decision-making software. I have also developed software that intelligently searches for extracts data about virtual communities on the World Wide Web.

Personal:
Social Theory: Culture and Rationality, Formal Modeling and Simulation, Development and Social Change,East Asia,Race and Ethnic Identity

 

Instruction

Teaching:
Sociological Theory, Social Change, Research Methods

 

Publications

Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction (2011) : Covers interdisciplinary work bringing together analysis of social networks, decision-making, and culture with data mining and machine learning. Published by Springer. Type: Edited volumes Co-Authors: John Salerno, Shanchieh Jay Yang, Dana Nau ISBN: 3642196553

Advances in Social Computing (2010) : Published by Springer in their Lecture Notes in Computer Science Series. Type: Edited volumes Co-Authors: John Salerno, Patricia Mabry ISBN: 364212078

Choosing an Identity (2001) : Challenges the conventional rational choice approaches with one that allows for cultural diversity and change. See the book's homepage for more details. Type: Book ISBN: 0472107011

Culture and Social Theory (1998) : Focuses on the work of the late Aaron Wildavsky in applying grid-group cultural theory to political and economic phenomena. Published by Transaction Publishers. Type: Edited Book Co-Authors: Brendon Swedlow (co-editor) ISBN: 1560002751

 

Awards & Honors

Coherence-Based Modeling of Cultural Change and Political Violence (CCPV) (2007) : Principal Investigator for 3 year, $1,611,416 project for prediction of cultural change and its effect on group conflict and cooperation. Also included development of social theory-informed web crawler for for discovery and analysis of virtual communities relating to cultural solidary groups. See project website for more info.

University of Hawai`i at Manoa Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2005) : University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching recognizes Manoa faculty members who have made significant contributions to teaching and student learning. More information here.

 

Research Projects

Online Social Behaviors and Prediction of their Implications for the Physical World: A Comparative S (2010 - ) : This project is aimed at the identification and characterization of virtual communities on the world Wide Web through the use of state-of-the art social science cultural and social network theories.

 

Developing Cultural Analysis and Sociological Network Theory for Understanding Virtual Communities a (2009 - ) : This project is aimed at the identification and characterization of virtual communities on the World Wide Web through the use of state-of-the art social science cultural and social network theories.

 

Synthetic Training Environments with Culturally-informed Agents (2008 - ) : Develop a computational implementation of a cross-cultural communication model and interface that model with a proprietary cognitive representation system

 

Coherence-based Modeling of Cultural Change and Political Violence (2007 - ) : Building simulation environment that will allow policy-makers to analyze long-term effects of various policy interventions on configurations of culture (ideologies, values, and beliefs) in different parts of the world, and also predict the effect of cultural change, in interaction with economic and political structural conditions, upon violent collective action.

 

eSyllabi

SOC 218 (Spring 2017) : Introduction to Social Problems - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 214 (Fall 2016) : Introduction to Race and Ethnic Relations - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 321 (Fall 2016) : Survey of Sociological Theory - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 218 (Spring 2016) : Introduction to Social Problems - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 751 (Spring 2016) : Development in Asia - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 214 (Fall 2015) : Introduction to Race and Ethnic Relations - Download
  Section: 001
  Cross Listed: ENS 214

SOC 321 (Fall 2015) : Survey of Sociological Theory - Download
  Section: 001

SOC 218 (Spring 2015) : Introduction to Social Problems - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 751 (Spring 2015) : Development in Asia - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 214 (Fall 2014) : Introduction to Race and Ethnic Relations - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 321 (Fall 2014) : Survey of Sociological Theory - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 321 (Spring 2014) : Survey of Sociological Theory - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 725 (Spring 2014) : Seminar in Race Relations - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 321 (Fall 2013) : Survey of Sociological Theory - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 321 (Fall 2011) : Survey of Sociological Theory - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 214 (Spring 2011) : Introduction to Race and Ethnic Relations - Download

SOC 214 (Fall 2010) : Introduction to Race and Ethnic Relations - Download
  Section: 001

SOC 715 (Spring 2010) : Ethnic Identity, Conflict, and Cooperation - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 214 (Fall 2009) : Introduction to Race and Ethnic Relations - Download
  Section: 1

SOC 715 (Spring 2009) : Ethnic Identity, Conflict, and Cooperation - Download
  Section: 3

SOC 358 (Fall 2008) : Sociology of Korea - Download
  Section: 001