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Patrick Gildersleve

Computational Social Scientist

I am in my 8th year of study in Oxford, having started with a 4 year undergrad Masters in physics, before making a jump to the social sciences at the Oxford Internet Institute. I’m now working towards a DPhil and am interested in applying mathematical methods from physics to model and make predictions on social systems. In particular, I’m interested in social networks. These may include the network of who’s friends with who on Facebook, who’s matching with each other on online dating platforms, or the patterns of how pages link to each other on the World Wide Web.

In my DPhil work I use Wikipedia to study the impact of news events – which news events get the most attention online? And do they have a measurable effect ­­– according to the vast Wikipedia article network – on recorded history? I’ll also happily apply myself to a wide range of side projects with interesting, accessible data. These include; exploring the world of online dating, gathering datasets to estimate the number of social media accounts belonging to dead people, or predicting football results using Wikipedia.

Here’s a fun short video that the BBC made about our research.