News and running events

2020-10-01Promotion to associate professor at ITU Copenhagen
2020-06-10Paper published in Transport Findings on multiplex transport networks
2019-12-12Published editorial and completed Special Issue in International Journal of Geo-information:
Human-Centric Data Science for Urban Studies
Editors: Resch, Szell
2019-09-05What the Street?! added to Futurium's permanent exhibition
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2019-08-07Joined editorial board of International Journal of Geo-information
2019-08-01New affiliation at ISI Foundation
2019-05-09Postdoc wanted at NERDS
2019-04-24New research group founded: NEtwoRks, Data, and Society (NERDS) at ITU Copenhagen
2019-02-01New position at ITU Copenhagen
2019-01-08Paper published in Nature Reviews Physics on taking census of physics
2019-01-07Call for papers at PLOS ONE:
Science of Stories
Submission deadline: 2019-06-14
2018-11-01Paper published in Nature Physics on interdisciplinarity and the Nobel Prize
2018-10-17What the Street!? visualization won the City Vis 2018 competition in Art & Advocacy
2018-03-29Paper published in Urban Planning
2018-03-14Tribute to Stephen Hawking published
2018-01-09Joined Editorial Board of Complex Systems
2017-12-15Joined Editorial Board of PLOS ONE
2017-12-05Call for papers at International Journal of Geo-information:
Human-Centric Data Science for Urban Studies
Editors: Resch, Szell
Submission deadline: 2019-04-30
2017-05-04Call for papers at EPJ Data Science:
Individual and Collective Human Mobility:
Description, Modelling, Prediction

Editors: Simini, Ghoshal, Pappalardo, Szell, Hövel
Submission deadline (extended): 2018-01-31


Michael Szell is associate professor in Data Science at IT University of Copenhagen, and external faculty at the Complexity Science Hub Vienna. His research aims to quantify the patterns behind interlinked human behavior and human-built structures, through mining large-scale data sets. He follows an interdisciplinary approach drawing from data science and network science. Michael's current focus is on urban mobility, sustainable transport, and data visualization. He has also developed the award-winning massive multiplayer online game "Pardus",, and several interactive data visualization platforms.

Research interests

  • Urban Data Science, Urban mobility, Sustainable transport
  • Data visualization, Complex systems, Network science
  • Quantifying human behavior and social networks, in particular online and in cities

Research highlights

2018-11-01: Nature Physics perspective on Nobel Prizes published 2018-03-29: Urban Planning paper on mobility space inequality published 2015-10-01: Nature Physics paper on citation networks published and on the cover 2014-09-16: PNAS paper on taxi shareability published and on the cover 2013-03-19: PNAS paper on diabetes risk published 2010-08-03: PNAS paper on multiplex networks published

Data visualization highlights

2017-06: What the Street!? 2014-03: HubCab
2014-02: Tweet Bursts


2012 / 03Ph.D. in Physics, University of Vienna
Ph.D. Thesis

Advisors: Stefan Thurner, Christoph Dellago
2007 / 10M.Sc. in Technical Mathematics with focus on computer science, Vienna University of Technology
M.Sc. Thesis

Current positions

2020 / 10
Associate professor, Computer Science Department, IT University of Copenhagen
2017 / 04
External faculty, Complexity Science Hub Vienna
2006 / 09
Founder and manager of Bayer & Szell OG
2004 / 07
Developer and administrator of the Massive Multiplayer Online Game Pardus

Past positions

2020 / 09
2019 / 02
Assistant professor, Computer Science Department, IT University of Copenhagen
2020 / 07
2019 / 08
Researcher, ISI Foundation
2019 / 01
2017 / 10
Assistant professor, Department of Network and Data Science, Central European University
2019 / 01
2017 / 09
Researcher, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
2019 / 01
2016 / 09
Adjunct visiting professor, Center for Complex Network Research, Northeastern University
2017 / 09
2016 / 10
Visiting research fellow, Center for Network Science, Central European University
2017 / 09
2016 / 09
Research fellow, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
2016 / 12
2016 / 09
Researcher in residence, moovel lab
2016 / 09
2014 / 07
Postdoctoral research associate, Center for Complex Network Research, Northeastern University
2014 / 07
2012 / 04
Postdoctoral research fellow, Senseable City Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2011 / 12
2009 / 01
Research assistant, Section for Science of Complex Systems, Medical University of Vienna