Meet the Human Mobility & Networks Lab!
Marta C. González
Gilbert Winslow Career Development Assistant Professor
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, 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.
Job Opening (for you?)
Postdoctoral Research Position in Human Mobility and Networks Research
We are seeking outstanding candidates to join the HumNet group at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. The position is initially for one year and expected to be renewed, upon mutual agreement. Activities will include applying methods from statistical physics, applied mathematics and data mining to investigate human mobility and networks. Based on this methods we are committed to impact the urban, transportation and environmental engineering domain. Successful candidates should have a PhD in Statistical Physics, Applied Mathematics, or in Computer Science applied to human dynamics, be able to impulse original research projects in StatPhys or Applied Math, writing research papers and coding in C or python. Exceptional candidates with experience in Network Science and Interdisciplinary Applications of Statistical Physics within human dynamics are specially welcome. Availability: To start Right Now!, send us an updated CV, a short description of your career interests and two sample research papers (you can find our email address here).
Graduate Student Position in Human Mobility and Networks Research
Dear MIT’s prospective graduate student,
If you are interested in joining the HumNet lab. Please consider the following information: We’ll be choosing among admitted graduate students in the following programs: PhD in Comp. Engineering (CEE), PhD in Transportation, PhD in Operations Research Also, we welcome applicants interested in in Urban Computing or/and Networks and Data Science from: The Dept. of Computer Science, the Dept. of Aereoastro, and the Dept. of Urban Studies.
If you do not have a Master of Science yet; sometimes it is recommended to apply for one before pursing a commitment into a PhD program. Our master students come from: The Master of Science in Computation for Design and Optimization (CDO) or the Master of Science in Transportation (MST ).
We expect to admit 1-3 new students in 2014! We are very much interested in candidates wishing to consider a doctorate level research and having already fulfilled a Master and/or with strong interests in applied research through scientific methods applied to engineering; computational modelling and data analysis. You are welcome to apply to the program that is the best match for you and to mention our research area (among other possible interests) in your research statement. Thanks for your interest and keep your motivation high.
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.
PhD Candidate in ESD
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
PhD Candidate in Transportation (CEE)
2010 MSc Civil Engineering, Boğaziçi University, Turkey
2008 BS 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 traffic model to real road networks to identify the critical network elements that trigger congestion. Empirical travel demand is a crucial to identify this, and I also work in mapping mobile phone users in the streets from cities as diverse as: Boston, Rio do Janeiro and Buenos Aires.
PhD Candidate in Transportation (CEE)
2013 Master of Science in Transportation. CEE MIT. Thesis: “Understanding Human Mobility Patterns from Digital Traces”
2011 Bachelor in Civil Engineering, Southeast University, China.
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.
Master Student in Science of Transportation
2009-2013: STEER DAVIES GLEAVE, International Transportation Consultancy
2009 Bachelor in Civil Engineering, University of Texas
I am a student in the Master of Science in Transportation program. Prior to MIT, I worked as a consultant focused on travel demand modeling and forecasting across a variety of transportation modes. I hope to build on this background in my research by using rich data sources such as cell phone records and GPS location data to better understand and predict traveler behavior and mobility patterns.
Master Student in Computation for Design and Optimization (CDO)
2013 Bachelor of Science in Math, University of Vermont.
I am a Masters student in Computation for Design and Optimization. Before coming to MIT, I researched computational linguistics at the Computational Story Lab. I am interested in using big data from various sources to model and predict system level behavior.
PhD Candidate, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
2009 M.S. in Transportation + Master in City Planning, MIT, Cambridge
2006 B.E. in Urban Planning + B.A. in Economics,Peking University, Beijing, China.
Mohammad Javad Abdolhosseini Qomi
PhD candidate in Mechanics and Material, CEE, MIT
BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tehran, 2006.
MSc in Structural Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, 2008.
I am a PhD candidate in CEE working in CSHub and collaborating with HuMNet. My research interest is centered around the application of high performance computing to understand complex materials and systems directly affecting global green house gas emission and energy consumption. In particular, I use methods in statistical physics to understand the complex glue of hydrated cement paste at nano-scale responsible for 6-8% of annual global CO2 emission. On the other side of the spectrum, I use methods in machine learning and artificial intelligence to better understand the energy consumption at complex scale of cities incorporating human-building interactions at the system level.
PhD Student in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Gaston seeks to develop statistical models for predicting transportation demand and human mobility. A main applied challenge—given the large sizes of the data sets—is the implementation of efficient and parallel inference algorithms. He is also interested in the prediction of socioeconomic parameters out of data extracted from mobile aware devices.
Gaston was a core member of the MIT team that participated in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, an autonomous vehicle competition that featured autonomous cars driving in a mock city and thinking like human drivers. He defined and implemented the motion planner used in Talos, the autonomous Land Rover LR3 that was MIT’s entry in the contest. The motion planner was based on the Rapidly exploring Random Tree (RRT) approach and was specifically designed for dynamic and uncertain environments such as that encountered during city traffic. Talos, being MIT’s first-ever entry in a DARPA Challenge, finished fourth and was one of only six robots to complete the challenging 55-mile course, out of 89 original applicants.
Gaston has a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, as well as a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Science degree in Estimation and Control.
Yan Ji, Master in Civil and Environmental Engineering, May 2011
Thesis Title: “Understanding Human Mobility Patterns Through Mobile Phone Records: A Cross-Cultural Study”
Now: PhD Student, MIT Economics.
David Gerstle, Master of Science in Transportation, January 2012
Thesis Title: “Understanding Bus Travel Time Variation Using AVL Data”
Now: Transportation Engineer at Caliper Corporation
Postdoc: 2011-2013. 2011 Physics PhD, ETH Zürich.
Now: Applying for an academic job in Europe.
2010 Physics PhD Notre Dame University
Now: Assistant Professor at the School of Traffic and Transportation Engineering, Central South University, China
Charisma F. Choudhury
Visiting Prof. 2010-2102. MIT PhD (CEE)
Now: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh
2008 Physics PhD, Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen and Georg-August-University.
Now: Postdoc at the Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization.
2011 MST Student funded by MIT-Portugal Program (1 year).
Now: STEER DAVIES GLEAVE, International Transportation Consultancy
Merkebe Getachew Demissie
2012 Visiting Student MIT-Portugal Program in the field of Transportation Systems.
2011 MIT-TPP Student (1 semester).
Now: Independent Web Consultant