Category Archives: Activity

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:
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!

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:


NERDS are currently active at this year’s International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM): International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM) is a forum for researchers from multiple disciplines to come together to share knowledge, discuss ideas, exchange information, and learn about cutting-edge research in diverse fields with the common theme of online social media. This overall theme includes research in new perspectives in social theories, as well as computational algorithms for analyzing social media. ICWSM is a singularly fitting venue for research that blends social science and computational approaches to answer important and challenging questions about human social behavior through social media while advancing computational tools for vast and unstructured data.

As usual, Luca Maria Aiello fulfils his role as Senior PC member at ICWSM. Further, we published two new papers at the event:

  1. The Healthy States of America: Creating a Health Taxonomy with Social Media, by S. Šćepanović, L.M. Aiello, K. Zhou, S. Joglekar, and D. Quercia

    Since the uptake of social media, researchers have mined online discussions to track the outbreak and evolution of specific diseases or chronic conditions such as influenza or depression. Here we developed a Deep Learning tool for Natural Language Processing that extracts mentions of virtually any medical condition or disease from unstructured social media text. We applied it to Reddit and Twitter posts, analyzed the clusters of the two resulting co-occurrence networks of conditions, and discovered that they correspond to well-defined categories of medical conditions. This resulted in the creation of the first comprehensive taxonomy of medical conditions automatically derived from online discussions, which strikingly resembles the official International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11).
  2. Multilayer Graph Association Rules for Link Prediction, by M. Coscia and M. Szell

    Here we investigate the multilayer link prediction problem with graph association rules: Will two nodes connect, and of which type?

International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021

On yesterday’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Roberta took part in a corresponding event organized by her alma mater, University of Catania, Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia “Ettore Majorana”, delivering a keynote talk on the topic and on her research.

The event was in Italian, it can be watched here:

Link to event:


First DataBeers Copenhagen was a smashing success

On May 23rd, the first DataBeers took place in Copenhagen, featuring 7-minute informal “data story” talks by five data scientists from academia and industry. The event, co-organized by NERDS members Roberta Sinatra and Michael Szell, became a smashing success with over 120 participants and 400 units of free beer consumed, filling up the historic Byens Lys cinema in freetown Christiania. Michael Szell’s first talk on the data visualization project What the Street!? was particularly well received by the energized crowd. From anarchist commune now to high society in Monaco two weeks earlier, NERDS are relentlessly spreading their research all over the world. 

DataBeers is a global not-for-profit initiative (currently in 31 cities), that brings data scientists and data enthusiasts from industry, government, academia and the arts to knowledge share. The DataBeers teams organise events and invite speakers to tell their experience with data: analysis, visualisations, applied data, data journalism etc., always in an informal and agile manner.

The Copenhagen edition is sponsored by SODAS @ KU and DTU Compute. We are always happy about sponsors, especially for beer – talk to us at
The next DataBeers Copenhagen is scheduled for Fall 2019. Follow us at @databeers_cph for updates. Stay tuned, and cheers! 🍻

Roberta Sinatra presented at Prix Monte-Carlo Femme de l’Année

NERDS member Roberta Sinatra has returned from Monte Carlo, where she presented her research in an inspiring keynote talk for the yearly Prix Monte-Carlo Femme de l’Année. The theme of this year’s edition of the accompanying Women For Women (W4W) conference was Arts & Science, to which Roberta’s recent research on the scientific quantification of success in art fit perfectly. The conference was held in a very special place: the headquarters of Monaco’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The talk and its consequent discussions were well-received by the mainly female audience, and by The Prix’ illustrious patrons such as Walgreens Boots Alliance COO Ornella Barbara or the reigning monarch of Monaco, Prince Albert II.

For more information see: this Monegasque media report