Using big data to quantify complex social processes

Data Science Lunchtime Seminars
February 27th, 12.30-1.30pm
Room: B3.19
Free pizza!

Speaker name: Alexander Petersen

Title: Using big data to quantify complex social processes

Abstract: New technologies are providing novel ways to curate, explore, analyze, visualize, and interpret massive sources of information, in some cases using previously inaccessible historical records, and in other cases tapping completely new data streams. Collectively, these IT/software/hardware innovations have  been dubbed the “Industrial Revolution of data”. The opportunities to study and quantify complex social processes are now vast, with labor quickly becoming a scarce resource. The magnitude of the big data challenge calls for a new type of (business) scientist training, not just in the methods of big data, but also in the practice of teamwork framed around principles of division of labor and efficiency.

In this talk I will touch on topics such as sexual revolution, knowledge networks, competition, life-cycles, reputation, and cooperation, the common theme being the big data prism which is shedding new light on complex social processes.

Bio: Alex is an assistant professor at the IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca Italy, a member of the Laboratory for the Analysis of Complex Economic Systems research unit. His research has focused on the analysis of stochastic phenomena in the social and economic sciences using concepts and methods from statistical physics and big data. In the past years his main research focus has been to quantify career growth and the broad distributions of individual longevity and productivity, and then to complement these systemic analyses with explanatory agent-based models that account for the underlying stochasticity, heterogeneity, and other important features such as teamwork and cumulative advantage.

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