Next week, we’re very lucky to have Dirk Brockmann visiting the lab. If you’re anywhere near Copenhagen there’s no excuse not to come and see him. He’s a world class scientist (see below) and in addition to mind-expanding content, his talks often feature subtle humor, as well as legendary slideshows.
Dirk is theoretical physicist turned world expert in spreading patterns of contagious disease. His recent Science paper The hidden geometry of complex, network-driven contagion phenomena [Science 342, 1337 (2013)] shows that it’s possible to replace geographic distance by a probabilistically motivated effective distance which reveals a hidden geometry where disease arrival times can be accurately predicted.
He’s also done interesting work on human travel patterns based on how money travels, Scaling laws of human travel [Nature 439, 462-465 (2006)]
Finally Dirk’s work has been used to fight crime on the US hit TV series NUMB3RS – check out the action packed clip below.
Dirk is a professor at Humboldt University (recently returned from Northwestern University).
With 29 pages of text and 9 pages of references, the new paper we’ve just put on arXiv is almost big data in its own right (ok, not quite, but it’s still a nice, big chunk of work).
The paper outlines all the work we’ve done over the past couple of years to put together a great big testbed for network science, working to collect a multiplex dataset (face-to-face, telecommunication, social networks, geospatial- and demographic information) of around 1000 densely connected individuals.
The abstract reads
This paper describes the deployment of a large-scale study designed to measure human interactions across a variety of communication channels, with high temporal resolution and spanning multiple years – the Copenhagen Networks Study. Specifically, we collect data on face-to-face interactions, telecommunication, social networks, location, and background information (personality, demographic, health, politics) for a densely connected population of 1,000 individuals, using state-of-art smartphones as social sensors. Here we provide an overview of the related work and describe the motivation and research agenda driving the study. Additionally the paper details the data-types measured, and the technical infrastructure in terms of both backend and phone software, as well as an outline of the deployment procedures. We document the participant privacy procedures and their underlying principles. The paper is concluded with early results from data analysis, illustrating the importance of multi-channel high-resolution approach to data collection.
Get it here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.7233
If you’re a PhD student or young PostDoc interested in a “curiosity-driven, bottom-up research project” in my lab, the Ørsted Postdoc positions linked here are a great opportunity. Let me know, and we can consider designing a project together. And don’t forget, the Danish PostDoc salaries are great.