Department of Informatics

PhD Position in the Intersection of Data Science and Statistical Development of Social Modeling
100 %

The Social Computing Group at the University of Zurich, led by Prof. Aniko Hannak, will be hosting the four-year SNF Ambizione project awarded to Dr. Zachary Roman beginning September 1st, 2024. The project titled "Striding Towards Multidimensional Place and Social Space; Advancing Statistical Modeling Approaches for Social and Spatial Spillover in Latent Variable Models" focuses on the development of a novel statistical framework designed for understanding the interaction of social (or spatial) cases within a latent variable modeling framework. The project will culminate in the creation of an open source software package to make the framework accessible to applied researchers. The project will further develop the framework established in:
Roman, Z. J., & Brandt, H. (2023). A latent autoregressive approach for Bayesian structural equation modeling of spatially or socially dependent data. Multivariate behavioral research, 58(1), 90-114.
Dr. Roman is hiring a PhD for the duration of the project and will provide doctoral supervision under Prof. Dr. Aniko Hannak's oversight.

Your responsibilities

This position will emphasize developing applied statistical approaches and using programming skills to acquire social media data to exemplify the approaches. You will work on projects related to the SNF funded research grant.
Generally speaking, this position will emphasize statistical model development and deployment. Specifically, latent variable modeling and spatial/ social network autoregressive approaches. You will assess model performance with Monte-Carlo (simulation) studies and convey the findings as recommendations to applied researchers. In addition, this position will also emphasize the use of programming (R or python) to scrape social media data for exemplifying the frameworks in many applications. This position will also be responsible for contributing to the development of the open source software (R) package.
The position will involve participation in academic conferences and workshops around Europe and the United States. Conference travel will be paid for by the project funds.

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Place of work

Andreasstrasse 15, 8050 Zürich, Switzerland

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