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 my interest in data science and (big) data analytics with applied interdisciplinary research across different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. I have, for example, worked on topics related to conflict and terrorism, urban violence and crime, and more recently, the impact of online media on opinion formation and collective decision-making. The increasing availability of very large, often unstructured data has led to an unprecedented disruption in both business and academia. Beside purely technical and algorithmic challenges associated with big data, it is in my view just as important to study how we can best leverage such approaches to answer real-world and policy-relevant questions across a large number of domains from political science to sociology, economics, business, or psychology.
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.