BEBR/CTSI Network Science Lab

The BEBR/CTSI Network Science Lab applies network analysis, statistical modeling, and natural language processing to a variety of research topics, including science and scientific collaboration, migration and health, social support and personal communities. The Lab is supported in part by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida.


David Cañarte is a Sociology PhD candidate in the UF Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law. He studies personal networks, social support, and health among immigrants in the US and Europe. He has conducted research on different immigrant populations, including Mexican farmworkers in Florida and Romanian Roma immigrants in France. His research is supported in part by the UF One Health Center of Excellence.

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Jared Adams is a Sociology PhD student in the UF Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law. His research is broadly concerned with the sociology of science and knowledge production. He studies scientific collaboration between individuals and organizations, gender inequality in academia, academic prestige and the diffusion of scientific ideas.

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­Tom Smith is a Criminology PhD candidate in the UF Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law. His research has two broad thrusts, both leveraging informatics and data science: (1) examining the relationship between networks of social support, criminal behavior, and its biosocial moderators; (2) using natural language processing to map topics and ideas in science, analyze topic similarity and collaboration patterns among scientists, and develop new methods to evaluate how scientific research addresses complex problems like sustainable development. His research is supported in part by the UF One Health Center of Excellence and by the UF Informatics Institute.

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­Till Krenz is a postdoctoral associate at BEBR. He earned his PhD in sociology at the University of Magdeburg in Germany with a dissertation on egocentric network analysis, quantitative methods for the social sciences, and statistical programming. His current research centers on personal networks, scientific productivity, and topic modeling for the study of collaboration within and between universities. He is the creator and maintainer of egor, an R package for egocentric network analysis. His research is supported in part by the UF Informatics Institute.

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Justin Schon is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Florida. He is interested in the modeling of migration, armed conflict, and development. He currently researches the spatial dynamics of development, rumor diffusion in conflict zones, the violence-internal displacement relationship, global refugee flows, and health care networks in Haiti. Part of his work is supported by the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative “Modeling Interdependence among Natural Systems and Human Population Dynamics“.

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Mark Girson is the Special Projects Coordinator at BEBR. In addition to coordinating the Network Science Lab and the collaboration between BEBR and CTSI, he oversees the collection of social science data for BEBR’s online database and is responsible for funding activities for the database. Employed at BEBR since 2003, Mark has a BS in psychology from the University of Florida and has done doctoral level work with Baylor University in clinical psychology.


Raffaele Vacca is assistant professor in the UF Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law and affiliate faculty at BEBR and CTSI. He co-leads the NIH-funded Network Science Module at the UF CTSI.

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Christopher McCarty is professor of cultural anthropology. He is the Director of BEBR and Associate Dean for the social sciences in the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He leads the NIH-funded Network Science Module at the UF CTSI.