Meet the Human Mobility & Networks Lab
Marta C. González
2006 Physics PhD, Stuttgart Universität, Germany
I am jointly appointed in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Engineering Systems Division. Trained as a physicist, I have applied my quantitative and analytical skills on the analysis of vast data collections gathered from different human-driven activities and the formulation of models that elucidate the fundamental principles underlying the observed scenarios.
As a PhD student I worked with Prof. H. J. Herrmann (ETH Zürich), at Stuttgart Universität, my dissertation “Contact of Mobile Agents and Spreading Dynamics” (July, 2006) contributed to the modeling of social networks and the effect of links dynamics in spreading processes. One unresolved aspect of the work of my dissertation was to have clear rules of movement of individuals in real space. Just after PhD, I moved to work as a postdoc with one of the leaders in network science research, Prof. A-L. Barabási (Northeastern University), we focused in the fundamental properties of human motion at daily scales. We developed important contributions to the field that opened the avenues of the research I am doing now.
I am investigating human mobility at various scales, extracting basic laws from human activity expressed as individual mobility networks. I integrate individual behavior with detailed density of population in order to analyze land usage in urban spaces and to model aggregated trips. My experience in statistical physics methods, vast amounts of data already collected, as well as a new acquired knowledge in GIS (geographic information systems) information are applied in our research projects.
2011 Physics PhD, ETH Zürich
In general my research interests are applications of statistical physics concepts to understand complex systems in nature. Therefore, I like developing models and algorithms to verify and extend theories. In particular, I have studied the robustness of complex networks ranging from biological to technological ones. I have further developed efficient network fragmentation methods with applications to immunization strategies as well as an optimal box covering algorithm.
Visiting PhD Student
2010 MoS in Electrical Engineering, major in Telecommunications.
Universidad Politécnica Madrid (UPM)
2011 Master in Statistical-Computational Information Processing.
UPM & Universidad Complutense
I am a visiting PhD student from the Applied Math Department at UPM. My PhD has been focused on social networks built from digital records such as phone or online interactions. Examples of problems studied are community detection, link prediction and attribute prediction. Main tools used are math, physics models and machine learning. Since I came to MIT, my aim is trying to find relations between social networks and human mobility, explain them, and hopefully proposing new solutions to different problems.
2010 BS in Physics, BS in Economics, and BS in Mathematics, University of Michigan
I am a PhD student in the Engineering System Division. My research focuses on using large behavioral data sets generated from the web (Twitter, Facebook, Google, ect.), cell phones, or any other means, to find emergent patterns in human behavior and dynamics. With a better understanding of these structures in the data, we can begin making better models and hopefully advance fields from sociology to economics. Along the way, we encounter many extremely difficult problems in traditional fields like math, physics, and computer science, so it’s a bonus if we get to solve them too.
- Dynamics of Land Use in Urban Spaces
- Social Networks and Spreading Dynamics
2008 BS Civil Engineering, Boğaziçi University, Turkey
2010 MSc Civil Engineering, Boğaziçi University, Turkey
I am a PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Before coming to MIT, I worked on analyzing the vulnerabilities of synthetic and real life transportation networks against critical link failures, and monitoring their response in such cases. Currently, my research is based on applying a source-sink based flow model to real transportation networks.
Merkebe Getachew Demissie
2005 BSc, Textile Engineering, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
2009 MSc, Transport systems, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden
I am a PhD student under the MIT Portugal Program in the field of Transportation Systems. I am working in the area of Intelligent Transportation Systems, which focuses on road traffic parameters estimation and prediction. My research considers data from multiple sources that are not primarily dedicated for traffic data collection purpose, GPS-equipped regular buses and taxies, and cellular networks, at places where there is limited road network sensor coverage. Potential contributions of this work include engaging already existing facilities for traffic data collection purposes, which reduces installation and maintenance costs, and deployment of data from different sectors that will improve the quality of estimated traffic parameters.
2011 Bachelor in Civil Engineering, Southeast University
I am a student in Master of Science in Transportation program. My research interests include using automatic collected data to analyze urban transportation network performance, to diagnose the cause of service bottlenecks, finally to improve level of service and to explain interactive patterns in human mobility.
2010 Bachelor in Civil Engineering, University of Puerto Rico
I am a first year graduate student pursuing a dual master’s degree in Science of Transportation (CEE) and City Planning (DUSP). My research focuses on modeling transportation demand using mobile phone data from more than a million users in the city of Lisbon, Portugal. The ultimate goal is to understand the degree to which such type of data (e.g. mobile phones, taxis) can be used to improve the understanding of the city’s functionality as well as to help validate existing models.
- Calling for Validation: Using Mobile Phone Data to Validate Integrated Land Use Transportation Models
2011 MA International Relations and Environmental Policy, Boston University
2003 BS Computer Science, Cornell University
I am currently pursuing the MS in Technology and Public Policy from MIT. I’m interested in international development research, specifically regarding climate change vulnerabilities, rural-urban human mobility patterns, and international trade. My methodological interests include analyzing policy through simulation, creating software for policy education, and data mining+GIS. In the future, I hope to study poverty and migration in the developing world, especially in the context of climate change.
Yan Ji, Master in Civil and Environmental Engineering, May 2011
David Gerstle, Master in Civil and Environmental Engineering, January 2012
Transportation Engineer at Caliper Corporation
Charisma F. Choudhury
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh