Nicholas Seltzer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Nicholas Seltzer


Nicholas Seltzer comes from a professional background in the defense industry and is currently an assistant professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Reno. Before this appointment, he was a research fellow at the Climate Change and African Political Stability Program at the Strauss Center for International Security and law at the University of Texas.

As a nontraditional student, he majored in philosophy and political science at University of California, Davis. Following graduation, he lived in Hong Kong, Beijing and Sapporo, Japan, eventually returning to the states to earn a Master's degree from George Washington University in national security policy, focusing on East Asia.

He would then spend several years in the defense industry, where he worked with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on an early attempt to develop an automated system for the early detection of political instability and adjudicated outcomes of war games for the Department of Defense. He then transitioned back into academia, pursuing new interests in the causes of conflict rather than the progress of conflict.

At Stony Brook University, he became interested in computational approaches to social science, including multiagent simulation, geographic information systems and big data research methods. He's interested in the evolution of cooperation and conflict, collective action problems, emergence of social complexity, social media and information networks.

Research interests

  • Big data analytics and sociopolitical implications of big data
  • Information networks
  • Agent-based modeling
  • Biopolitics
  • Behavioral political economy
  • Quantitative research methodology
  • Geographic information systems

Courses taught

  • World politics
  • Mass media and American politics


  • Ph.D, Political Science, Stony Brook University, 2014
  • M.A., National Security Policy, George Washington University, 2007
  • B.A., Philosophy and Political Science, University of California, Davis, 2003