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: https://ddsa.dk/open-calls/open-call-for-phd-scholarships/
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: https://nerds.itu.dk/2021/09/01/research-project-market-2021/

 

 

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. 

Luca Aiello wins Carlsberg Young Researcher Fellowships

Luca Aiello was one of the recipients of this year’s Carlsberg Young Researcher Fellowships.


The Carlsberg Young Researcher Fellowship funds three-year fellowships for newly appointed tenured associate professors to establish an independent research group and forming an international network.

Luca’s winning proposal was awarded with DKK 5M:
COCOONS: COllective COordination through ONline Social media

In the coming decades, a defining task for humanity will be to solve global challenges through mass coordination. The goal of the project is to unveil the prime elements of social interactions that enable spontaneous coordination in the face of social dilemmas. It will do so by quantifying fundamental dimensions of social interactions with Natural Language Processing algorithms applied to online social media conversations, and to leverage principles from complex systems science to find how these dimensions are linked to cooperation outcomes in social networks.

We are excited about Luca’s success and are looking forward to welcome one new PhD student and two postdocs that will be recruited starting October 2022. Stay tuned for upcoming job calls.

New group photos

Taking advantage of the still relatively relaxed pandemic situation in Denmark we finally all met up and took new group photos:

Taking these group photos was way overdue, since the last time we took one, in April 2019, we were only 4 members. Now we are 14, and growing soon again..

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: https://www.socialdatascience.dk/nightingale

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! https://github.com/NERDSITU/nerdyicebreakers

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

A dream come true for Luca Aiello 🖖

Our very own Luca Aiello was interviewed by none other than William “Captain Kirk” Shatner on his recent dreams research, in Shatner’s show “I Don’t Understand”:

https://www.rt.com/shows/i-don-t-understand-with-william-shatner/532878-dream-analysis-social-science/

Watch the 26 minute interview to see Luca baffling and exciting Shatner by answering his burning questions, such as:

What in heaven’s name is computational science doing with dreams?

What methodology did you use to give us an algorithm about dreams?

Say you meant to say “maybe” and you said “baby”, one would have said prior to your science “That was a Freudian slip” – you don’t work that way?

It could be Hitler all over again?

Could you understand why an individual does not take a vaccine?

No doubt this interview was a NERDS dream come true! 🖖

Two new NERDS papers: NFT market and Pearson correlations on networks

Two new papers from the NERDS crew!

    1. Mapping the NFT revolution: market trends, trade networks, and visual features, by M. Nadini, L. Alessandretti, F. Di Giacinto, M. Martino, L.M. Aiello, A. Baronchelli, published in Scientific Reports

      Luca and collaborators performed the first large-scale analysis of the market of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) since its birth. The looked at 6.1 million trades of 4.7 million NFTs to learn about market, traders, visual features and price prediction. The dataset they collected is available. Learn more on this blogpost from the Alan Turing Institute.
      Also, watch the accompanying video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyIITtPKJbY
    2. Pearson correlations on complex networks, by M. Coscia, published in Journal of Complex Networks
       

       
      Estimating the correlation between two processes happening on the same network is therefore an important problem with a number of applications. However, at present there is no way to do so: current methods to estimate the correlation between two processes happening on the same network either correlate a network with itself, a single process with the network structure, or calculate a network distance between two processes. To fill this gap, Michele created a new method to extend the Pearson correlation coefficient to work on complex networks, and showed its usefulness in tasks related to social network analysis and economics. Learn more on this blogpost.

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: https://sandrofsousa.github.io

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.

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.