The Computational Science Lab
(CSL) at the Faculty of Science, Urban Geography
at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Institute for Advanced Study is looking for a postdoctoral researcher to work on the COMPASS project
. In addition to working on the COMPASS project, the postdoc will also contribute to the activities of the ODISSEI Social Data Science
(SoDa) team at Utrecht University.
This position is an opportunity to do cutting-edge research in Computational Social Science while at the same time contributing to a young data science team, get involved in a wide range of interesting research projects throughout the country, and to provide a meaningful contribution to computational social science research in the Netherlands.The COMPASS project
The issue of segregation in education can be (and has been) examined from both the individual level (e.g., parent surveys, choice analysis, etc.) or from macro-level statistics (e.g., changes in segregation level, region, city or national level). The COMPASS project aims to uncover the dynamics of school choice and resulting patterns of school segregation by assuming a multi-dimensional approach to segregation.The SoDa team
The ODISSEI Social Data Science (SoDa) team exists to support social scientists in research projects that involve a strong data analysis component. The team consists of a small group of researchers and research engineers. We collaborate on a variety of computational social science projects, proposed by researchers from ODISSEI member organisations. We use our computational, statistical, and research engineering skills to answer questions that would otherwise remain unanswered.What are you going to do
You will be primarily based at the Computational Science Lab, part of the Institute of Informatics (IvI), and affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study and Urban Geography all at the University of Amsterdam. You will be employed at SoDa Utrecht until the end of 2022 and then officially start working at the UvA informatics Institute from Jan 2023 - Dec 2024. However, the expectation is that you will able to collaborate with both teams during the full period.
You will be supervised by Dr. Willem Boterman
, associate professor of Urban Geography and, and Dr. Mike Lees
, associate professor at the Informatics Institute. At Utrecht you will be supervised by assistant professors Dr. Erik-Jan van Kesteren
and Dr. Javier Garcia-Bernardo
. You will be working with multidisciplinary teams of computational scientists and sociologists in close collaboration with policy makers at the Inspectorate for education and the municipality of Amsterdam.
Your primary task will be to examine and develop new multi-dimensional measures of segregation to facilitate development of the computational model. In order to best model parental choice, and in particular understand how many different forms of choice there are, we need as much information about the 'type' of parent as possible. We need to establish the right groups of agents/ parents and understand exactly when groups of parents have the same (or similar) choice preference (or even mechanism) and when they don't.
To measure segregation, we will utilise both standard indicators (Exposure index; Dissimilarity Index) and compositional measures (Theil's information index) to establish which proportions of school segregation are caused at which scales (between municipalities within urban regions; within municipalities; within neighbourhoods).
As part of the SoDa team at Utrecht you will work on various related projects, the exact focus of these smaller projects will depend on the available projects and the expertise and interest of the postdoc, but the projects will involve the use of administrative data (i.e. micro-data from the Central Bureau of Statistics). For example, one potential project involves predicting COVID-19 outbreaks in schools using the family and school networks of Dutch residents. Another involves modelling the evolution of social trust or segregation in such networks.Tasks and responsibilities:
An example of your tasks in the SoDa team:
- Conducting independent research in Computational Social Science, resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international journals and/or books;
- actively contributing to and developing national and international research networks and other forms of cooperation;
- developing, coordinating and teaching courses in both Dutch and English, in the bachelor and master programmes;
- supervising Bachelor and Master theses and tutoring students; co-supervising PhD theses;
- actively contributing to the development and improvement of the broader teaching programmes in the department;
- taking part in committees and working groups and carrying out departmental administrative tasks as directed.
- Analyse Central Bureau of Statistics microdata and public data regarding school choice;
- investigate clustering approaches to identify classes of parents;
- help development/design of agent-based model;
- consider and develop parental surveys;
- help with part of project management (e.g., co-organising meetings with stakeholders);
- regularly present and demonstrate intermediate results.