Category Archives: Student

NERDS growth in 2023

Happy new year! We are excited to report many new faces at NERDS, on one hand due to an increased number of interns joining, and on the other hand through Luca’s Carlsberg grant which now starts to kick in.

With Jan 1st, joining us is the new long-term member Arianna Pera as PhD student, who recently got her master degree at Universita Bicocca in Italy. She will work in the area of computational social science, and especially with topics related to coordination. At the same time, we have postdoc Alessia Antelmi from University of Salerno in Italy. She will be with us for 6 months working on higher-order interactions applied to online conversations. Further, Lucio La Cava is a PhD student at the University of Calabria in Italy. He will visit us for three months, working at the intersection of collective coordination and Web3. A future PhD student will be Anders Giovanni Møller, who is currently still a Masterstudent here at ITU. He will start his PhD with us in June but he is already around before then. His main focus is NLP and he will work at the intersection of NLP and social network analysis. Apart from this new batch of 2023 people, we have two more master student interns, Henrik Wolf and Carlson Büth, who are visiting us since fall from Germany, Dresden and Münster, respectively.

All of these excellent new people bring more life to our group – they also have almost filled up all our tables in our large 3F29 section and we might need to look for new space soon. We are happy about all the buzz and intellectual cross-pollination going on!

Our interns are happy and becoming numerous due to our group’s and university’s efforts to be welcoming to visitors. To quote our Positions page:

We are very open to welcome self-funded research visitors if the topic of collaboration makes sense – for such inquiries please contact us via email. If you need funding let us know too: There might be / we might know of possibilities of third-party or internal funding.

Stonks 📈

Arianna Pera has joined NERDS

We are thrilled to welcome Arianna Pera to NERDS!

Arianna will be a PhD student for 3 years, working with Luca Aiello on the Carlsbergfondet project COCOONS on fostering collective cooperation in online social media to tackle societal dilemmas. Arianna recently got her MSc in Data Science from Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca. She will work at the intersection of Network Science and Natural Language Processing. Welcome, Arianna!



Luigi Arminio has joined NERDS

We are happy to welcome Luigi Arminio to our research group!

Luigi joins us as PhD student for 3 years. He’ll be supervised by Luca Rossi and work on the EU-funded PolarVis project on online propagation of visual narratives in the context of climate change communication. Luigi achieved his MSc in Data Science at the University of Trento with a research thesis, realized in collaboration with the Fondazione Bruno Kessler, in which he investigated the flow of information (and misinformation) about Covid-19 in the Italian context by means of NLP and Network Science techniques. 


Call for PhD scholarships by the Danish Data Science Academy

The new Danish Data Science Academy (DDSA), which we helped to establish, invites applications for ten three-year PhD scholarships for individual research projects within any field of data science, including all research topics pursued by NERDS. The DDSA encourages visionary and ambitious young data scientists to develop their own research projects with the assistance of a supervisor from a Danish university (like ITU).

See more information here:
Deadline for application is 20 March 2022

Given that both our currently existing PhD students (Anastassia and Ane) were hired through similar calls, there is a good probability to make this also work out for future candidates. If your research interests overlap with ours and you are interested please get in touch with one of our assistant or associate professors to explore options to apply!

You will need to come up with your own research plan, but feel free to get inspired by our most recent master level project ideas:



Ane Rahbek Vierø has joined NERDS

Happy new year! 🥳

We are thrilled to welcome Ane Rahbek Vierø to our research group!

Ane joins us as PhD student for 3 years, funded by the Danish Ministry of Transport for an application which she authored, supported by her new supervisor Michael Szell. She completed her Master’s degree in 2020 from Lund University on a thorough analysis of Copenhagen’s bicycle network, and has been working since then as research assistant at Aalborg University. Her background is in Geographical Information Science which is a great complement for our existing NERDS expertise. She is also well connected in the Danish cycling research community, having co-organized the recent CRBAM21, which will additionally strengthen our research group’s connections within Denmark.

Given her professional expertise in bicycle network analysis, her GIS background and procedural approach via Python, and her past experience – such as an internship in the cycling development team of the municipality of Copenhagen – she is the perfect person to undertake this ambitious PhD project: Network analysis of the Danish cycling infrastructure.

Together with our PhD student Anastassia, who works on a very similar topic and who also joined recently, we anticipate an increasing output in cycling research in the coming years. Our goal is not just producing research papers, but more importantly to improve the Danish cycling landscape locally, and to provide general insights and methods towards a modal shift to sustainable transport on the global level. 

Establishing the Nightingale Network

Together with Sune Lehmann and Laura Alessandretti from SODAS/DTU we are establishing the Nightingale Network: The Nightingale Network brings together faculty, postdocs, and students based in Denmark who share an interest in Computational Social Science, Complex Systems, and Network Science.

More info and subscribe here:

We aim to strengthen the Denmark-based data and network science community, and send out a monthly newsletter listing relevant events, news, and job postings in Denmark and beyond. Please also share your tips, calls, and job postings!

We will also organize regular gatherings. The first event was the first Nightingale Network Night which happened last week at ITU, and which successfully established and strengthened many social and culinary connections, from Scaccia to Borek and Apfelstrudel:

We will also share the nerdy party games we created on our github page so that others can replicate the fun!

Sign up to our news, and see you soon (modulo lockdown)!

Sandro Sousa has joined NERDS

We are delighted to welcome Sandro Sousa to our research group!

Sandro joins us as Postdoc coming from Queen Mary University of London. He recently completed his PhD in Complex Systems, on quantifying the heterogeneity of spatial systems through random walks on graphs with a particular interest on urban segregation.

Due to his Brazilian origins, before that he had worked on projects focusing on São Paulo, for example on social segregation, transport accessibility, or graph-based approaches to quantify topological changes in Sao Paulo’s public transport network at different spatial scales. Before his research career, he worked on IT consulting and data solutions for more than 7 years. Find more info about Sandro on his stylish webpage:

He is hired through our recently won VILLUM project, at NERDS he will therefore be focusing on topics of Science of Science and success together with Roberta Sinatra, including algorithmic fairness in research.

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.