I am Assistant Professor of Computational Social Science at the Center for Data and Methods in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of International Relations & Political Science at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland, USA. In 2014, I completed my PhD in the team of Prof. Dirk Helbing (ETH Zürich). My external PhD advisers were Prof. Ravi Bhavnani (Graduate Institute, Geneva) and Prof. Scott E. Page (University of Michigan).
In my research, I combine a substantive interest in political science with the development and refinement of quantitative methodologies for social science research. I have worked on topics related to political communication dynamics and social influence online, but also on the micro-foundation of conflict and terrorism as well as urban violence and crime. The projects I pursue aim to address substantive and policy-relevant questions using micro-level data and state-of-the-art quantitative methodology. This includes statistical methods for the analysis of data gleamed from digital media as well as computational (agent-based) modeling and the analysis of highly-resolved geographical data. I have also developed a number of software packages for data analysis and visualization that are available as open source tools to the research community.
I am currently involved in a multi-institutional research project on modeling early risk indicators to anticipate malnutrition (MERIAM) working together with researchers at the University of Maryland, the Graduate Institute in Geneva and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Together with a colleague in computer science, I have also just received a three-year funding for a project on automated detection of media bias in news media articles that combines state-of-the-art computer science approaches with longstanding insights from the social sciences (WIN). In addition, I am working on an NSF funded project at START that models grievances and political instability through global media (INSPIRE). Further details may be also be found under Research.