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University of Amsterdam Professor on the Importance of Crowd Behavior Research and Putting Minecraft to Good Use
Human behavior analysis is one of the most important and complex contemporary research topics. It can be used for designing safe and reliable structures and spaces to help people during evacuations and other emergency situations. Working as part of a research group, a University of Amsterdam professor Michael Lees has developed a Minecraft-inspired game that was used for studying human behavior in emergencies forcing people to navigate their way through an unknown territory. Prof. Lees unveiled the findings during his ITMO University lecture, dedicated to the development of a new game-based experimental approach aimed at achieving a better scientific understanding of humans.
How can one of most widespread materials on the Earth help cure cancer? In what ways are people similar to pigeons? Why oxidize graphene atoms? And why do genes constitute only 20% of the human genome? Scientists gave answers to these and other questions during the recent Science Slam in St. Petersburg; ITMO.NEWS summarized the key points of their presentations.
On July 1 to 8, the Web Science Summer School 2017 was held in St. Petersburg. It was organized by Laboratory of Internet Studies at Higher School of Economics and ITMO University’s International Laboratory “Computer Technologies”. The School’s mentors presented the projects in data set analysis. ITMO.NEWS has examined some of the social network data analysis projects developed by specialists from ITMO’s eScience Research Institute.
Traffic jams, a lack of green areas or infrastructure, overpopulation, crowded public transportation – these issues are all too familiar to the citizens of major cities. The solutions to these problems can seem strange: closing roads, sharing cars with strangers or laying down paths only after the people have moved into the neighborhood. But research shows that it is such seemingly uncomfortable solutions that make for a comfortable urban environment. Michael Lees, co-head of International Laboratory “Urban Informatics” and Assistant Professor at University of Amsterdam, spoke to ITMO.NEWS about how urban studies save cities, which paradoxes of urban planning scientists encounter and why “smart” technologies take so long to be adopted by major cities.
ITMO University scientists in alliance with international colleagues developed a program for bringing together computer models of crowd behavior. According to the authors, this helps forecast emergencies that appear during mass gatherings. The method already as a base for the crowd behavior study at the Kumbh Mela festival. The research article was published in Future Generation Computer Systems.
Opening of the central part of the Western High-Speed Diameter became good news for St. Petersburg drivers. Since last week, Vasilyevsky Island has received one more connection with the rest of the city. The new road is widely discussed in media and social networks. How does this high-speed motorway affect the traffic in St. Petersburg?
Scientists from different countries have analyzed behavior of the mass gathering at the Kumbh Mela, one of the largest festivals in the world. The KumbhMela Experiment was conducted by specialists from the University of Amsterdam, the Indian Institute of Science and ITMO University. Dr. Ashish Verma, one of stakeholders of this project, came to ITMO and shared the details oftheir research activities.