Great Problems, Great Minds Seminar Series: ‘Coping with the Age of Paradox: Exploring the Role of A Quantum Perspective,’ Featuring Daniel Sui

Join the Social Sciences Colloquium at the Department of Social Sciences for this Great Problems, Great Minds seminar series event featuring guest speaker Daniel Sui, a professor of geography and public and international affairs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), who will give a presentation on “Coping with the Age of Paradox: Exploring the Role of a Quantum Perspective.” This seminar will take place on Friday, November 17, from 3:15–4:30 p.m. over Zoom.


In an era characterized by rapid technological advancements, shifting societal norms, and complex global challenges, individuals find themselves navigating an intricate web of contradictions and paradoxes. This talk delves into the heart of coping strategies for the age of paradox in which certainties are questioned and traditional norms are upended. It delves into the digital age’s juxtaposition of hyperconnectivity and isolation, where technology binds us together while potentially alienating us from genuine human interaction. The clash between unprecedented information accessibility and the proliferation of misinformation further exemplifies the challenges we face. To holistically understand the multifaceted nature of the technological, social, and environmental paradoxes, this talk draws from the emerging quantum social science literature and argues that a quantum approach is an imperative from theoretical, methodological, and ethical perspectives.


In addition to being a professor, Daniel Sui also serves as Virginia Tech’s senior vice president for research and innovation. Prior to Virginia Tech, Sui was a Distinguished Professor and vice chancellor for research and innovation at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (2018–2020). He also served as division director for Social and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation (2016–2018). He was an Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University (OSU) between 2009–2018. While at OSU, he served as chair of geography (2011–2015) and director of the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (2009–2012). He was also the Reta A. Haynes Endowed Chair at Texas A&M University (2001–2009). His current research interests include a variety of topics related to the development of smart cities and the social impacts of technological innovations, environmental implications of the emerging sharing economy, fundamental theoretical issues of geographic information science, location-based social media, open/alternative GIS, Deep Web/Darknet, and legal/ethical issues of using geospatial technology in society. He has published over 260 referred scholarly articles on these areas in top journals, such as Progress in Human Geography, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. He has also authored/co-authored a dozen books and edited volumes covering a variety of topics in these areas. He earned a B.S. with highest honors in geography and an M.S. in geographic information science from Peking University, and got his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Georgia. Sui received multiple national and international recognitions for research and teaching accomplishments, including the 2019 International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences Distinguished Scholar Award; 2015 Woodrow Wilson Public Policy Scholar; 2014 Distinguished Scholar Award of the American Association of Geographers Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group; 2006 Michael Breheny Best Paper Prize in Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science; 2009 Guggenheim Fellow; 2014 Google Fellow; and 2004 AT&T Fellow. He is also a recipient of two university-level outstanding teaching awards and the best paper for college-level teaching by the United States National Council for Geographic Education. During the past five years, he delivered more than 50 invited keynote addresses at various national and international conferences.

“Coping with the age of paradox: Exploring the role of a quantum perspective” is part of the Social Sciences Colloquium of the Great Problems, Great Minds seminar series which explores the major problems facing humanity as we move into the heart of the twenty-first century. To see the full schedule and videos from previous events, visit the seminar series page. For more information, contact Associate Professor of Social Sciences Hao Huang at