Dr Marian-Andrei Rizoiu is a lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Technology Sydney. He is interested in stochastic behavioural modelling of human actions online, at the intersection of applied statistics, artificial intelligence and social data science. He leads the Behavioral Data Science group, which studies human attention dynamics in the online environment, the emergence of influence and opinion polarisation.
His research has made several key contributions to online popularity prediction, real-time tracking and countering disinformation campaigns, and understanding shortages and mismatches in labour markets. First, he has developed theoretical models for online information diffusion, which can account for complex social phenomena, such as the rise and fall of online popularity, the spread of misinformation, or the adoption of disruptive technologies. Second, he built a skill-based real-time occupation transition recommender system usable in periods of massive disruptions (such as COVID-19). Third, he approached questions such as “Why did X become popular, but not Y?” and “How can problematic content be detected based solely on how it spreads?” with implications in detecting the spread of conspiracy theories and disinformation campaigns. Finally, he linked social media predicted personality profiles with worker occupations, applicable in building personalising career recommendations.
Marian-Andrei's research receives funding from selective funders such as Facebook Research and Defence Science and Technology (DST). In addition, he publishes in the most selective venues, such as the PNAS, PLOS ONE, PLOS Computations Biology, WWW, NeurIPS, IJCAI, and CIKM. As a result, his work has received significant media attention—including Bloomberg Business Week, Nature Index, BBC, and World Economic Forum.
Marian-Andrei disseminates his research to the broader public by regularly contributing to The Conversation. In addition, he also leverages his research to real societal impact by, for examples, serving as an expert for the NSW government's Defamation Law Reform or providing evidence for the Australian Federal Senate inquiry into media diversity. See more at www.rizoiu.eu.