Sedar Olmez Member since: Wednesday, November 06, 2019 Full Member

MSci in Computer Science, MSc in Data Analytics and Society

Sedar is a PhD student at the University of Leeds, department of Geography. He graduated in Computer Science at King’s College London 2018. From a very early stage of his degree, he focused on artificial intelligence planning implementations on drones in a search and rescue domain, and this was his first formal attempt to study artificial intelligence. He participated in summer school at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul working on programming techniques to reduce execution time. During his final year, he concentrated on how argumentation theory with natural language processing can be used to optimise political influence. In the midst of completing his degree, he applied to Professor Alison Heppenstall’s research proposal focusing on data analytics and society, a joint endeavour with the Alan Turing Institute and the Economic and Social Research Council. From 2018 - 2023 he will be working on his PhD at the Alan Turing Institute and Leeds Institute for Data Analytics.

Sedar will be focusing on data analytics and smart cities, developing a programming library to try simulate how policies can impact a small world of autonomous intelligent agents to try deduce positive or negative impact in the long run. If the impact is positive and this is conveyed collectively taking into consideration the agent’s health, happiness and other social characteristics then the policy can be considered. Furthermore, he will work on agent based modelling to solve and provide faster solutions to economic and social elements of society, establishing applied and theoretical answers. Some other interests are:

  • Multi-agent systems
  • Intelligent agents
  • Natural language processing
  • Artificial intelligence planning
  • Machine learning
  • Neural networks
  • Genetic programming
  • Geocomputation
  • Argumentation theory
  • Smart cities

Tevfik Emre Serifoglu Member since: Monday, December 30, 2019 Full Member

After completing my undergraduate education at Bilkent University (Turkey), I continued my studies at the University of Cambridge, receiving first my MPhil and then my PhD in Assyriology/Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, funded by a Chevening Open Society Scholarship and the Board of Higher Education of Turkey. After teaching for several years at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, I moved to eastern Turkey to start the Archaeology Department of Bitlis Eren University, and I was the Head of Department until the end of 2018. I have been a visiting researcher at the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman in 2011 (Mellink Fellowship), at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in 2014 (Fulbright Fellowship), and at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History of Uppsala University in 2019 (Swedish Institute Fellowship). I have also held a Newton Advanced Fellowship here at Leicester in the UK. I have previously co-directed several fieldwork projects: the Cambridge University Kilise Tepe Excavations (southern Turkey, 2009-13), the Cide Archaeological Project (survey, Black Sea coast, 2010-1), the Sirwan Regional Project (survey, northern Iraq, 2012-5), and the Lower Göksu Archaeological Salvage Survey Project (survey, southern Turkey, 2013-7). I am currently co-directing the Çadır Höyük excavations, which is a joint American, British, Canadian and Turkish archaeological excavation project conducted in north-central Turkey, and the Taşeli-Karaman Archeological Project, which was initiated in 2018 as a continuation of the Lower Göksu Archaeological Salvage Survey Project, to study the Göksu River Basin in its wider geographical context in the hope of better understanding its role as a network hub connecting the eastern Mediterranean world to the central Anatolian Plateau.

Ifigeneia Koutiva Member since: Monday, June 21, 2010 Full Member

PhD in Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, M.Sc. in Environmental Technology, Imperial College London, Postgraduate Diploma in Water Resources and Environmental Management (online), University of Belgrade, Mining and Metallurgy Engineering, National Technical University of Athens

Ifigeneia Koutiva (female) is a senior environmental engineer, holding a PhD in Civil Engineering (NTUA), a Postgrad Diploma in Water Resources and Environmental Management (Un. of Belgrade - e-learning), an MSc in Environmental Technology (Imperial College London) and an MSc in Mining and Metallurgy Engineering (NTUA). Her PhD was funded by the Greek Ministry of Education through Heracleitous II scholarship. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar of the State Scholarship Foundation (IKY) for 2020 - 2021. She has 10 years of experience in various EU funded research projects, both as a researcher and as a project manager, in the fields of socio-technical simulation, urban water modelling, modelling and assessment of alternative water technologies, artificial intelligence, social quantitative research, KPI and water indicators development and assessment and analysis of large data sets. She is very competent with programming for creating ICT tools for agent based modelling and data analysis tools and she is an experienced user of spatial analysis software and tools. She is also actively involved in the design and implementation of numerous consultation workshops and conferences. She has authored more than 20 scientific journal articles, conferences articles and research reports.

My research interests lay within the interface of social, water and modelling sciences. I have created tools that explore the effects of water demand management policies in domestic urban water demand behaviour and the effects of civil decision making in flood risk management. I am interested in agent based modelling, artificial intelligence techniques, the creation of ABM tools for civil society, Circular Economy, distributed water technologies and overall urban water management.

Derek Robinson Member since: Wednesday, November 05, 2014 Full Member Reviewer

The goal of my research program is to improve our understanding about highly integrated natural and human processes. Within the context of Land-System Science, I seek to understand how natural and human systems interact through feedback mechanisms and affect land management choices among humans and ecosystem (e.g., carbon storage) and biophysical processes (e.g., erosion) in natural systems. One component of this program involves finding novel methods for data collection (e.g., unmanned aerial vehicles) that can be used to calibrate and validate models of natural systems at the resolution of decision makers. Another component of this program involves the design and construction of agent-based models to formalize our understanding of human decisions and their interaction with their environment in computer code. The most exciting, and remaining part, is coupling these two components together so that we may not only quantify the impact of representing their coupling, but more importantly to assess the impacts of changing climate, technology, and policy on human well-being, patterns of land use and land management, and ecological and biophysical aspects of our environment.

To achieve this overarching goal, my students and I conduct fieldwork that involves the use of state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in combination with ground-based light detection and ranging (LiDAR) equipment, RTK global positioning system (GPS) receivers, weather and soil sensors, and a host of different types of manual measurements. We bring these data together to make methodological advancements and benchmark novel equipment to justify its use in the calibration and validation of models of natural and human processes. By conducting fieldwork at high spatial resolutions (e.g., parcel level) we are able to couple our representation of natural system processes at the scale at which human actors make decisions and improve our understanding about how they react to changes and affect our environment.

land use; land management; agricultural systems; ecosystem function; carbon; remote sensing; field measurements; unmanned aerial vehicle; human decision-making; erosion, hydrological, and agent-based modelling

Liliana Perez Member since: Thursday, October 11, 2018 Full Member

B.Eng, Geomatics, Distrital University, Colombia, MSc., Geography, UPTC, Colombia, Ph.D., Geography, Simon Fraser University, Canada

My initial training was in cadastre and geodesy (B.Eng from the Distrital University, UD, Colombia). After earning my Master’s degree in Geography (UPTC, Colombia) in 2003, I worked for the “José Benito Vives de Andreis” marine and coastal research institute (INVEMAR) and for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Three years later, in 2006, I left Colombia to come to Canada, where I began a PhD in Geography with a specialization in modelling complex systems at Simon Fraser University (SFU), under the direction of Dr. Suzana Dragicevic (SAMLab). In my dissertation I examined the topic of spatial and temporal modelling of insect epidemics and their complex behaviours. After obtaining my PhD in 2011, I began postdoctoral studies at the University of British Columbia (2011) and the University of Victoria (2011-2013), where I worked on issues concerning the spatial and temporal relationships between changes in indirect indicators of biodiversity and climate change.

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Montreal. My research interests center around the incorporation of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques into the development Agent-Based Models to solve complex socio-ecological problems in different kind of systems, such as urban, forest and wetland ecosystems.

The core of my research projects aim to learn more about spatial and temporal interactions and relationships driving changes in our world, by focusing on the multidisciplinary nature of geographical information science (GIScience) to investigate the relationships between ecological processes and resulting spatial patterns. I integrate spatial analysis and modeling approaches from geographic information science (GIScience) together with computational intelligence methods and complex systems approaches to provide insights into complex problems such as climate change, landscape ecology and forestry by explicitly representing phenomena in their geographic context.

Specialties: Agent-based modeling, GIScience, Complex socio-environmental systems, Forestry, Ecology

William Kennedy Member since: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 Full Member


Dr. William G. Kennedy, “Bill,” is continuing to learn in a third career, this time as an academic, a computational social scientist.

His first a career was in military service as a Naval Officer, starting with the Naval Academy, Naval PostGraduate School (as the first computer science student from the Naval Academy), and serving during the Cold War as part of the successful submarine-based nuclear deterrent. After six years of active duty service, he served over two decades in the Naval Reserves commanding three submarine and submarine-related reserve units and retiring after 30 years as a Navy Captain with several personal honors and awards.

His second career was in civilian public service: 10 years at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and 15 years with the Department of Energy. At the NRC he rose to be an advisor to the Executive Director for Operations and the authority on issues concerning the reliance on human operators for reactor safety, participating in two fly-away accident response teams. He left the NRC for a promotion and to lead, as technical director, the entrepreneurial effort to explore the use of light-water and accelerator technologies for the production of nuclear weapons materials. That work led to him becoming the senior policy officer responsible for strategic planning and Departmental performance commitments, leading development of the first several DOE strategic plans and formal performance agreements between the Secretary of Energy and the President.

Upon completion of doctoral research in Artificial Intelligence outside of his DOE work, he began his third career as a scientist. That started with a fully funded, three-year post-doctoral research position in cognitive robotics at the Naval Research Laboratory sponsored by the National Academy of Science and expanding his AI background with research in experimental Cognitive Science. Upon completion, he joined the Center for Social Complexity, part of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University in 2008 where he is now the Senior Scientific Advisor. His research interests range from cognition at the individual level to models of millions of agents representing individual people. He is currently leading a multi-year project to characterize the reaction of the population of a mega-city to a nuclear WMD (weapon of mass destruction) event.

Dr. Kennedy holds a B.S. in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy, and Master of Science in Computer Science from the Naval PostGraduate School, and a Ph.D. in Information Technology from George Mason University and has a current security clearance. Dr. Kennedy is a member of Sigma Xi, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and a life member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is a STEM volunteer with the Senior Scientists and Engineers/AAAS Volunteer Program for K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in the DC-area schools.

Cognitive Science, Computational Social Science, Social Cognition, Autonomy, Cognitive Robotics

Francesc Bellaubi Member since: Thursday, June 27, 2013

PhD candidate

performance of urban water service provision, high levels of inequities and inefficiency persist. In terms of water distribution and cost, these undesirable patterns have a high impact on peri-urban areas usually populated by marginalized and poor populations. The high levels of Non-Revenue Water (NRW), together with the existence of corrupt practices and mismanagement of water utilities, remain a highly controversial issue.

This situation confronts rent-seeking theory directly, explaining the performance-corruption relationship (Repetto, 1986). The presumption is that low performance in water supply service provision results from corruption because rent-seeking occurs. Hence, the implementation of performance-oriented reforms in the water supply sector, such as regulation or private sector participation, will reduce corruption, increasing the efficiency of water service provision. Nevertheless, latest evidence shows that “key elements of good political governance have a positive effect on the access to water services in developing countries. In turn, private sector participation has little influence other than increasing internal efficiency of water providers” (Krausse, 2009).

Indeed the relation between governance, corruption and performance seems to be more complex than theory wants to acknowledge. It must be reviewed further than a simple cause-effect relationship. It appears that poor management of water utilities, evidenced by high levels of NRW, justifies new investments. Such practices can be encouraged by an “opportunistic management”, whilst at the same time maintaining an influential “hydrocratic elite” in the sphere of water control.

The present research proposal aims to understand the relation between mismanagement and corruption of water control practices in water supply service provision. The research examines how this relationship affects the performance of water service provision and relates to water supply governance models at municipal peri-urban level in three African countries.

To understand the mismanagement-corruption relationship, we look at different case studies of water supply service provision in Senegal, Ghana and Kenya. Each case represents a different governance model in terms of management practices, institutional and organizational settings, and the actors in place, which affects the performance of water service provision in terms of allocative efficiency and access to water (equity). Whether regulation, decentralization and private sector participation constitute possible ways to reduce corruption is examined in the context of water sector reform.

In a second step, we propose a theoretical model based on Agent Based Modelling (ABM) (Pahl-Wostl, 2007) to reproduce complex social networks under a Socio-Ecological System (SES) framework approach. The model will allow us to test whether collaborative governance in the form of collective action in a participatory and negotiated decision-making process for water control, can reduce corruption and increase performance.

The present research benefits from the project “Transparency and Integrity in Service Delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa”. This project, carried out by Transparency International (TI) in 8 Sub-Saharan countries, aims to increase access to education, health and water by improving transparency and integrity in basic service delivery. The proposal retains focus on Senegal, Ghana and Kenya in the water sector.

Key words: water control, mismanagement, corruption, performance, collaborative governance, modelling, collective action, negotiation, participation

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