100 word bio

Michael Szell is currently postdoctoral researcher at Northeastern University (Center for Complex Network Research). His interdisciplinary background of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics is well reflected in his research goals: To quantitatively understand collective behavior and the underlying patterns of our interlinked actions and decisions in a new kind of "computational social science", which typically involves mining large-scale data sets of human activity following a complex networks/systems approach. Michael's special focus is on online environments and media, in particular he is known for his work on multiplex networks, social dynamics and mobility from the players in his massive multiplayer online game "Pardus", www.pardus.at.

Research interests

  • Computational social science, in particular of human behavior online and in cities
  • Social networks: Analysis and modeling of structure, evolution, and processes
  • Complex systems, human mobility, evolutionary game theory

Research highlights

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 2014-02-28: Book review published in Science 2013-03-19: PNAS paper on diabetes risk published 2010-08-03: PNAS paper on multiplex networks published


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


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
2006 / 09
Founder and manager of Bayer & Szell OG
2004 / 07
Developer and administrator of the Massive Multiplayer Online Game Pardus