Data Science for Tackling Urban Challenges
Marta González left Venezuela where she grew up to pursue a PhD in Computational Physics in Stuttgart Universitaet, as a selected fellow of the DAAD, the German agency for students’ exchange. Next, she moved to the U.S. to do a postdoc in the Barabasi Lab and initiated the study of patterns of human mobility with a complex systems’ perspective. She is currently Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, joint with the Operations Research Center and the Center for Advanced Urbanism. With support from several companies, cities and foundations from around the world, her research team develops computational models to analyze digital traces of device-mediated information and estimate the demand on urban infrastructures in relation to energy and mobility. Recent research uses billions of mobile phone records to understand the emergence of traffic gridlocks and the integration of electric vehicles in the power grid, records of smart meter data to compare policy of solar energy adoption, and credit card transactions to identify habits in spending behavior. Her research has been published in leading journals, including Science, PNAS, Nature and Physical Review Letters.