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The Mathematical Modelling of Urban Systems

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  • Full or part time
    Prof V Latora
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

The School of Mathematical Sciences of Queen Mary University of London invite applications for a PhD project commencing either in September 2016 (funded students) or at any point in the academic year (self-funded students). Cities are a very interesting example of complex adaptive systems. They basically consist of a series of different places (habitations, work places, commercial activities, services, green spaces, etc.) where the relevant socio-economic interactions take place, connected and intertwined by different infrastructure networks (transportation networks, communication networks, etc.). The aim of this PhD project is to understand how cities work by means of a quantitative description of urban systems, and by the development of new mathematical models to reproduce the statistical properties observed. The project is intrinsically interdisciplinary, lying at the boundary between network science, city planning, and geography, and will involve different theoretical and computational aspects, including:

1) the empirical analysis of land use in different cities
2) thestatistical characterisation of the spatial distribution of different types of economic activities and services in a city, and their correlations in space
3) the mathematical modelling of the structure and growth of infrastructure networks
4) the analysis of the flow of people and goods between any two places in a city, and the extension of the gravity model and of other land-use transportation models to take into account of the underlying transportation networks
5) the development ofdesign and decision-making models to predict interactions and flows in the smartcities of the next future.

This project will be supervised by an expert of Complex Networks (Prof. Vito Latora, QMUL), and by an expert of Urban Planning (Prof. Michael Batty, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL)

For full details, please see the project abstract:

The application procedure is described on the School website. For further enquiries please contact Prof. Vito Latora ([email protected]).
This project is eligible for several sources of full funding for the 2016/17 academic year, including support for 3.5 years’ study, additional funds for conference and research visits and funding for relevant IT needs. Applicants interested in the full funding will have to participate in a highly competitive selection process. The best candidates will be eligible to receive a prestigious Ian Macdonald Postgraduate Award of £1000, for which you will be considered alongside your application. The application deadline for full funding is January 31st 2016.

There is also 50% funding scheme available for students who are able to find the matching 50 % of the cost of their studies. Competition for these half-funded slots will be less intensive, and eligible students should mention their willingness to be considered for them in their application. The application deadline for 50 % funding is January 31st 2016.

This project can be also undertaken as a self-funded project, either through your own funds or through a body external to Queen Mary University of London. Self-funded applications are accepted year-round.

Funding Notes

If you wish to apply, please visit the application website and mention that you wish to work on the “The Mathematical Modelling of Urban Systems” project.

School website:

Related Subjects

How good is research at Queen Mary University of London in Mathematical Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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