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Too Lazy to Read the Paper

Author: Sune Lehmann

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In this podcast the author explains a paper to me, your host, Professor Sune Lehmann ( The participants are authors of a paper in network science or data science. Sometimes I feature a group of co-authors! The intended audience is PhD students, PostDocs and other scientists. The idea is to start with a bit about the paper's author, the idea for the paper. Then talk about the research itself. And we’ll end by gossiping about the reviewing process, etc. The whole thing is based on the idea that papers are so formal. And that when two people talk to each other informally, it’s often more fun – and tends to get ideas across more effectively.
10 Episodes
It’s Episode 10 and season finale time. But not to worry, #LazyPod will be back after the summer break.Today on the pod is Dashun Wang! Dashun is an Associate Professor and the Founding Director of the Center for Science of Science and Innovation at Northwestern University. He works on the Science of Science, turning the scientific method upon ourselves, using amazing new datasets and tools from complexity sciences and artificial intelligence.His research has been published repeatedly in journals like Nature and Science, and has been featured in virtually all major global media outlets. Dashun is a recipient of multiple awards for his research and teaching, including Young Investigator awards, Poets & Quants Best 40 Under 40 Professors, Junior Scientific Award from the Complex Systems Society, Thinkers50 Radar List, and more. In this wide-ranging conversation, we talk about his life, career and his new book The Science of Science (1).# Timestamps[0:00:00] Sune’s Intro[0:01:43] Catching up with Dashun's whirlwind career[0:36:40] We get to talking about the book # References(1) CreditsThe podcast has theme music by Waylon Thornton (and a little bit by me as well). WT's songs are "American Heart" and "Seven". Via and licenced under CC BY-NC-SA. The podcast was funded in part by the Villum Foundation.
Today on the pod is Marta Sales-Pardo & Roger Guimera.What a great talk. We could have gone on for hours. Peer review, power-laws, becoming scientists, Bayesian statistics, and much, much more.Marta and Roger study fundamental problems in all areas of science including natural, social and economic sciences. They have expertise in a broad set of tools from statistical physics, network science, statistics and computer science.Both were many years at Northwestern before starting a group at URV in Catalonia. They are authors of many classic papers in Network Science, lots of important work, e.g. on community detection. We talk about their paper “A Bayesian machine scientist to aid in the solution of challenging scientific problems” (1). # Timestamps[0:00:00] Sune’s Intro[0:01:08] Origin story and (much) more[0:44:42] We slowly get to the paper# References(1) CreditsThe podcast has theme music by Waylon Thornton (and a little bit by me as well). WT's songs are "American Heart" and "Seven". Via and licenced under CC BY-NC-SA. The podcast was funded in part by the Villum Foundation.
Big talk on the pod today. My guest is Martin Rosvall. A network science legend. The creator of the InfoMap community detection algorithm (1).Martin’s group (2) studies information flows through social and biological systems to understand their inner workings. By simplifying myriad network interactions into maps of significant information flows, they aim to address research questions about how diseases spread, plants respond to stress, and life distributes itself on Earth.In today’s talk we talk about how a love for theory and not the subject matter of classical physics made Martin study information theory early on. We talk about serendipitously going to the Niels Bohr Institute and finding his postdoc advisor Carl Bergstrom on google. And in a big reveal - a LazyPod exclusive - we tell the story of how a grumpy reviewer and a TV star resulted in the name for the map equation. We wrap up talking about Martin’s yearly habit of taking young scientists into the Swedish wilderness.# Timestamps[0:00:00] Sune’s Intro[0:01:44] Origin story and more[0:38:12] The Saga of the Map Equation# References(1) and CreditsThe podcast has theme music by Waylon Thornton (and a little bit by me as well). WT's songs are "American Heart" and "Seven". Via and licenced under CC BY-NC-SA. The podcast was funded in part by the Villum Foundation. 
Today on the Pod is Alice Schwarze. We talk about Alice’s paper "Motifs for processes on networks". Super exciting work! Before we get to the paper, we also talk about memes, how to get into Oxford, and being a young researcher today. Alice is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. Her research combines ideas and methods from applied mathematics and network science to study complex systems in biology and neuroscience.She holds a DPhil (PhD) in Mathematics from the University of Oxford, a MSc in theoretical physics and a BSc in physics from Technische Universitaet Berlin. She is committed to supporting students from underrepresented groups in academia. She convenes the seminar series on "Women in Network Science”.—The sound is not ideal in this one, but it get’s much better around the 17 minute mark as we call in a dedicated external recorder.#Timestamps[0:00:00] Intro to today's episode[0:01:36] The origin story + being a young researcher today.[0:25:44] Now we talk about the paper# CreditsThe podcast has theme music by Waylon Thornton. Songs are "American Heart" and "Seven". Via and licenced under CC BY-NC-SA. The podcast was funded in part by the Villum Foundation. # References(1)
I’ve got a treat for you today. Today’s author’s are Gourab Ghoshal and Petter Holme, who are here to talk about a classic paper. A paper they co-authored and published in PRL in 2006. The paper has a fantastic title, which is basically also a mini abstract. It is called “Dynamics of Networking Agents Competing for High Centrality and Low Degree” (1). In the podcast we get into it!Gourab is at at Rochester University, where he is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy with joint appointments at the departments of Computer Science and Mathematics. He works in the field of Complex Systems. His research interests are in the theory and applications of Complex Networks as well as Non-equilibrium Statistical Physics, Game theory, Econophysics, Dynamical Systems and the Origins of Life.Petter is Swedish scientist living and working in Japan, where he is a Specially Appointed Professor at the Institute of Innovative Research at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. His research focuses on large-scale structures in society, technology and biology; mostly trying to understand them as networks.# Timestamps[0:00:00] Intro and friendly banter[0:04:00] Gourab's dream of becoming Richard Feynman[0:10:10] Petter becomes a network scientist by accident[0:17:45] We dive into the paper! (+ discuss complex systems in general)# References(1)
Today’s guest is Renaud Lambiotte Renaud is an associate professor at the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University, investigating processes taking place on large networks.In the episode, we talk about his story in science, the joy and value of exploring without a particular purpose, doing a PhD without publishing any papers, … and how reading classical texts by Boltzman and others early on has shaped the work Renaud does even to this day.When we get to the paper, we talk about Renaud’s recent work “Variance and covariance of distributions on graphs” (1) with co-authors Karel Devriendt and Samuel Martin-Gutierrez.#Timestamps[0:00:00] Intro to today's episode[0:00:59] Friendly banter, and being in awe of Mark Newman[0:07:00] Renaud's story[0:28:38] The Louvain Algorithm t-shirt[0:34:00] Now to discuss the paper!# CreditsThe podcast has theme music by Waylon Thornton. Songs are "American Heart" and "Seven". Via and licenced under CC BY-NC-SA. The podcast was funded in part by the Villum Foundation. # References(1)
Today’s guest, Leidy Klotz, is a professor at the University of Virginia. He studies the science of design: how we transform things from how they are - to how we want them to be. Leidy wants to apply his work outside of academia:. He wants address climate change and systemic inequality, Leidy also works directly with organizations including the World Bank. Leidy has written more than 80 articles and two books. And Today we talk about his new paper (with a group of excellent co-authors) called "People systematically overlook subtractive changes" (1) which I love, and which recently made the cover of Nature. We also talk about his new book, called “Subtract. The Untapped Science of Less” which unfolds some of his ideas on a much larger canvas (2).Leidy is a highly interesting person: Before becoming a professor - as we also discuss on the Pod - Leidy managed the design and construction of large engineering projects and before that he played professional soccer.I had an amazing time talking about this fantastic work! You can skip around using the timestamps below.#Timestamps[0:00:00] Intro to today's episode[0:01:42] Podcasts and simplicity[0:04:00] How does one go from pro soccer to academia, teamwork, and more.[0:15:50] The story of noticing *subtraction*[0:21:22] From idea to scientific paper[0:29:30] Can you always subtract?[0:39:30] Subtraction & ressources: life, history, and evolution.[0:48:39] Learning to subtract in a world of plenty[0:55:40] What about "free" addition: Harddrives, storage lockers, supporting materials [0:59:30] What' next?# CreditsThe podcast has theme music by Waylon Thornton. Songs are "American Heart" and "Seven". Via and licenced under CC BY-NC-SA. The podcast was funded in part by the Villum Foundation. Intro waveforms by the VSound App.# References(1) Find it here
Via the response to the first couple of episodes I realized that not only my science-friends listen to the podcast, but many other people.So while I want to keep this part short, I should probably provide a short intro to present the interview subject. Today’s guest is Dirk Brockmann. Dirk is a physicist and complex systems researcher. He’s a professor at the Department of Biology, Humboldt University of Berlin and the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin. Berfore returning to his native Germany, he was a professor at Northwestern University. He’s a man of many talents. His academic work spans pioneering papers on human mobility and has also pioneered work on its connection to Infectious Disease Dynamics (there’s a super nice paper developing the idea of effective distance in Science a few years ago, but also many more). But that’s not all, he has many other papers, to give you a sense, he has a recent one on social networks of honey bees. Read all about him and his amazing group of researchers here: Dirk has been a crucial voice of reason during the COVID-19 … dare I say becoming a bit of a celebrity in his native lands … all the while also making important scientific contributions on a number of aspects related to the epidemic.Now. Dirk is also a rebel, so he decided to rebel against the “rules” of the podcast. And submitted a paper to me that wasn’t even his own work. But experience tells me, that unexpected paths are often the best ones, so I decided to roll with it. And it sure was worth it.In the podcast, we talk about a review paper by Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg and Eugene Rosenberg concerning the “hologenome theory of evolution” (1). And it was glorious! Relentlessly and methodically, Dirk took me into an amazing world of little creatures I knew little about. And I also detected a beautiful political undercurrent, in this story of life and evolution as a massive collaborative and mutually supporting endeavor.Check out his hand-drawn illustrations here: you love science and discovery, this podcast is for you[0:00:00] Intro by Sune[0:04:08] We talk about headphone settings and friendship.[0:08:50] Why is Dirk a scientist?[0:12:40] Patterns in Biology.[0:16:15] Origin story. An anti-arrogance view of the world.[0:25:10] We get started talking about the paper. The hologenome.[0:33:33] An evolutionary theory that goes beyond the individual; beyond the concept of the species. It's about collaboration.[0:43:00] Meddling with Nature.[0:55:22] What about variability?[0:59:30] The collaborating Aphid.[1:03:10] The "Ship of Theseus" and adaptability[1:15:16] The invisible Squid; too complex to be intelligent design.[1:19:20] One more thing.(1) The podcast has theme music by Waylon Thornton. Songs are "American Heart" and "Seven". Via and licenced under CC BY-NC-SA. The podcast was funded in part by the Villum Foundation.
This time we meet with physicist, expert on science of succes, and all-round amazing person, Roberta Sinatra. She talks about her recent paper "Success and luck in creative careers" (1). Along the way, we talk about her academic background, earlier work and what lead her to discuss the role of luck. Roberta uses a few slides for talk, you can find them here if you're listening to the audio podcast[0:00:00] Sune shamelessly fishing for compliments about the podcast trailer.[0:02:19] We talk about Roberta's past work, ending up in Boston and working on success.[0:10:29] Why Roberta is a scientist, the experience of working in BarabasiLab.[0:20:20] How did the question of *Luck* enter into Roberta's research?[0:32:08] The difficulty of finding the right question. Being in "the cloud" (2).[0:37:00] A solution begins to present itself. The Q-model.[0:44:53] Decomposing success into skill and luck.[0:48:47] Data sources, proxies (+ power-laws vs log-normals).[0:55:45] Sune's mind is blown learning about multiplicative luck. The comic in ref (3) on cumulative effects is on his mind.[1:03:30] Getting to the results of the paper! [1:14:07] How is talent inherited?[1:19:54] Wrapping up!(1) Janosov, M., Battiston, F., & Sinatra, R. (2020). Success and luck in creative careers. EPJ Data Science, 9(1), 9.(2)
This inaugural episode features physicist and transportation scientist Marta C. González (UC Berkeley) [1] explaining her paper "The TimeGeo modeling framework for urban mobility without travel surveys" (PNAS September 13, 2016 113 (37) E5370-E5378) [2].[1][2]
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