Dr. Manuel Sebastian Mariani

Senior Research Associate

Tel.: +41 44 634 9203
 

 


“Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge: the serenity to accept the things we cannot predict, the courage to predict the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference." 

(Nate Silver)




Manuel is a Senior Research Associate at the University Research Priority Program on Social Networks since November 2017. He has a background in theoretical physics and received his Master degree in Physics at University La Sapienza, Roma, with a thesis on statistical-physics models of glasses. His main research mission is to understand how, in modern social and economic systems, individuals' heterogeneous behavior and algorithms shape the emergence of collective social phenomena. This involves, for example, understanding how to individual-level choices lead to the collective success (or failure) of individuals, products, and businesses; how to design effective influencer marketing strategies that take into account individuals' behavioral patterns; how individual-level heuristics to form opinions on interconnected topics may lead to fragile collective opinions. From a broader perspective, Manuel views this understanding as a stepping stone to the design of better-performing and more sustainable social environments. To progress in his mission, Manuel aims to creatively develop and combine tools based on networks science, agent-based modeling, machine learning, and experiments. His research has been published in both interdisciplinary journals and disciplinary ones in physics, computer science, and innovation management. When Manuel is not editing long TEX files, you'll likely find him running in Zurich's hills or swimming in the lake.