Author Archives: misz

NERDS at CRBAM21 cycling research conference

This year’s Cycling Research Board Annual Meeting, the premier CRBAM21 conference on cycling research, will be held in Copenhagen this week, Oct 13-15, and 3 of us will present our research (of course attending via bicycle). Click the talk titles below for the abstracts of our three current members, Anastassia Vybornova, Bojan Kostic, and Michael Szell, and of our future member Ane Rahbek Vierø:

Anastassia Vybornova
Network algorithms for the identification and classification of gaps in urban bicycle networks based on OSM data
Oct 15, 10:40, Session 2.5: Bicycle network analysis

Bojan Kostic
Analysing cyclist behavior at signalized intersections using computer vision
Oct 14, 15:30, Session 2.4: Modelling bicycle traffic

Michael Szell
The geometric limits of growing urban bicycle networks
Oct 15, 11:00, Session 2.5: Bicycle network analysis

Ane Rahbek Vierø (currently at Aalborg University)
Cyclists’ access to everyday amenities
Oct 15, 10:00, Session 2.5: Bicycle network analysis


See here for the full program: https://cyclingresearchboard.com/2021/?page_id=1433
The conference will also feature an exciting panel of the “who is who” in cycling research and policy:

We are looking forward to the conference and to seeing you at #CRBAM21!

The unsung heroes of NERDS

Our research group has recently grown to a milestone of 10 members, however this number does not give the full picture of NERDS. There are several short-term members and visitors that make our group and its activities more lively, and whose hard work allow our research to fully prosper. Further, now that Corona is kind-of-resolved in Denmark, we want to increase liveliness even more by re-booting our hospitality towards research visitors: If you are interested in visiting us in Copenhagen, for scientific exchange and/or a seminar/talk, please reach out to us.

To shine more light onto our “unsung heros”, here an overview of our past and current NERDS-embedded colleagues, helpers, and friends, apart from the yearly one to two dozen Bachelor and Master students who we supervise:

Victor Møller Poulsen, Intern (2021-08 to 2022-01)
Marilena Hohmann, Intern (2021-08 to 2022-01)
Lasse Buschmann Alsbrik, Research assistant (2021-08 to 2021-10)
Morten Lynghede, Student programmer (2021-06)
Cecilia Laura Kolding Andersen, Student programmer (2021-06)

We have updated our people page accordingly.

Anastassia Vybornova has joined NERDS

We are excited to welcome Anastassia Vybornova to our research group!

Anastassia joins us as PhD student from Vienna, Austria. She recently completed her Master degree jointly supervised at KU, BOKU Vienna, and at ITU by Michael Szell, accomplishing an outstanding thesis on Identifying and classifying gaps in the bicycle network of Copenhagen. She has won a competitive, ITU-supported PhD grant and will therefore be with us for (at least) 3 years. 

Anastassia’s background is a crazy mix of physics, environmental science, and transcultural communication, and she is educated in complex systems and network science – all of which makes her fit perfectly into NERDS.

Her PhD topic at NERDS will be Network analysis of urban transport networks: for a green transition from car-centricity to cycling, with Michael Szell as supervisor, for which her ideal combination of skills from physics, sustainability science, and programming will be indispensable. To taste an hors d’oeuvre of her work, see her talk in two weeks at CRBAM.

Yanmeng Xing has joined NERDS

We are thrilled to welcome Yanmeng Xing to our research group!

Yanmeng joins us as a visiting PhD Student for one year. Yanmeng is a PhD student in Complexity Science at Beijing Normal University who won a prestigious Chinese fellowship to spend one year abroad.

At NERDS he will be working on Science of Science topics, specifically investigating the effects of the pandemic on scientific collaborations and career dynamics.

 

Funding for bicycle network analysis by the Danish Ministry of Transport

Today we received the happy news that the Danish Ministry of Transport is funding our project Netværksanalyse af den danske cykelinfrastruktur (“Network analysis of the Danish cycling infrastructure”): https://www.trm.dk/nyheder/2021/aftale-om-nye-cykelstier-i-alle-dele-af-landet/

This funding will allow us to hire cycling network and urban planning/spatial data expert Ane Rahbek Vierø for a 3-year PhD on the topic, to start Jan 2022, supervised by Michael Szell. Our bicycle network research so far has focused on urban bicycle networks, so this funding will finally allow us to widen our perspective to the regional and national scale. We are looking forward to welcoming Ane in January and to help improving the (already quite good but certainly not perfect) Danish bicycle network!

In more detail, our plans for this project are the following:

In this research project we will apply state of the art metrics and tools from network analysis on Danish open data bicycle infrastructure networks collected from e.g. OpenStreetMap, and additionally incorporate knowledge from cycling planners and mobility researchers, to develop a scientific, evidence-based framework to suggest where to add new network connections or other interventions for improving sustainable bicycle infrastructure. While there are generally good cycling conditions in Denmark, there are many areas that have a quite poor connectivity. Using access to everyday amenities as a baseline can also show that it is not enough to install bicycle lanes – they need to be in the right location and connect to the right places. This research will explore weighting the network according to different attributes to get a more detailed understanding of how connectivity and accessibility might vary for different types of cyclists (in line with Levels of Traffic Stress). We will also use this weighted network to examine cyclists’ access to everyday amenities and facilities, in order to, for example, identify areas where you cannot comfortably cycle to basic amenities (inspired by the 15-minute city). Further, we will explore the effect of high stress intersections on network connectivity for vulnerable road user demographics such as children, and incorporate the distribution of people and workplaces in the analysis. Finally, we aim to develop an interactive web mapping tool that visualizes the results and has the ability to run analyses based on individual demographic variables or preferences of cyclists.

Roberta Sinatra receives YSA award

Today Roberta Sinatra received the 2020 Young Scientist Award for Socio- and Econophysics!

The Young Scientist Award for Socio- and Econophysics is given once a year. It pursues the goal of promoting the work of young researchers and recognizing outstanding scientific contributions that use methods derived from physics to contribute to a better understanding of socio-economic problems.

The award committee has decided to award the prize shared to:

Dr. Roberta Sinatra,

for her outstanding contributions to understanding the social dynamics of science, human mobility and behaviour, on the grounds of network science and statistical physics methods,

AND

Dr. Manlio de Domenico,

for his outstanding and insightful work on multilayer networks and their applications to the field of socio-economic systems.

🎉We congratulate the two recipients! 🎉

Back from Department Retreat

We are back from our 2-day computer science department-wide retreat in Helsingør, the closest point to Sweden across the Øresund and the original location of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with over 100 good colleagues, where almost all NERDS finally met in person after a very long time of pandemic avoidance – thank you Denmark for handling this situation so well! 🇩🇰

We had a lot of fun and enjoyed our time together, creating new links between us and others in the department. We are also happy to have spent time and got to know better one of our next members who will join the group in October. Here a few impressions from our trip, which felt a bit like going on a school trip after an unbearably long 2+ year absence of not seeing each other:

Two NERDS summer papers: Streetonomics and COVID Twitter psychology

Prolific NERDS researcher Luca Maria Aiello published 2 more papers over the summer. They already received wide media coverage:

  1. Streetonomics: Quantifying culture using street names, by M. Bancilhon, M. Constantinides , E.P. Bogucka, L.M. Aiello, D. Quercia, published in PLOS ONE

    This paper studies the names of 4,932 honorific streets in the cities of Paris, Vienna, London and New York, finding that street names greatly reflect the extent to which a society is gender biased, which professions are considered elite ones, and the extent to which a city is influenced by the rest of the world, quantifying a society’s value system.

    The paper was covered in media here:
    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210712-streetonomics-what-our-addresses-say-about-us
    https://www.fastcompany.com/90652762/how-streets-in-new-york-london-paris-and-vienna-got-their-names-according-to-streetonomics
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/street-names-show-why-great-cities-are-worlds-apart-x06lbdwgj
    https://elpais.com/ciencia/2021-06-30/el-machismo-esta-en-las-calles.html
    https://www.lefigaro.fr/sciences/l-ame-d-une-ville-peut-elle-se-lire-dans-les-noms-de-ses-rues-20210701

  2. How epidemic psychology works on Twitter: evolution of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., by L.M. Aiello, D. Quercia, K. Zhou, M. Constantinides, S. Šćepanović, S. Joglekar, published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications

    The paper studies the use of language of 122M tweets related to the COVID-19 pandemic posted in the U.S. during the whole year of 2020. On Twitter, we identified three distinct phases. Each of them is characterized by different regimes of the three psycho-social epidemics.
    See also: https://www.fastcompany.com/90659372/pandemic-emotions-research-twitter

Release of GrowBike.Net to explore growing urban bicycle networks

Recently we released GrowBike.Net, accompanying our preprint “Growing Urban Bicycle Networks“. The interactive data visualization platform was developed by NERDS Master students Cecilia Laura Kolding Andersen and Morten Lynghede as part of their thesis “Developing an Interactive Visualization of Bicycle Network Growth” with Michael Szell.

GrowBike.Net lets you explore how to grow bicycle networks from scratch in 62 cities worldwide. Choose a city and grow the bike network, connecting places efficiently step by step.

The growth process creates a cohesive bicycle network – something that every modern city should have. Studying these synthetic networks informs us about the geometric limitations of urban bicycle network growth and can lead to better designed bicycle infrastructure in cities. GrowBike.Net also allows to compare the grown networks with your city’s existing bicycle network.

Although our approach here is not yet aiming to provide concrete urban design solutions, it could be useful for planning purposes for easily generating an initial vision of a cohesive bicycle network – to be re-fined subsequently.

The platform also features a media page where over 1000 videos and plots can be downloaded: http://growbike.net/download

Have fun exploring growing bike networks in your city!