Professor Jari Saramäki was granted funding from The Strategic Research Council (SRC)
Professor and vice head of the Department of Computer Science Jari Saramäki has been granted funding of just under 700 000 euros for his research on social networks. Saramäki is part of a new research consortium, NetResilience, which investigates demographic change from the perspective of social networks.
The consortium will study how population change affects social networks, and how changing networks, in turn, shape population change and wellbeing. For example, changes in size and structural features of social networks may play a part in recent fertility declines in many wealthy societies.
They are also looking at the relationship between social networks and population resilience, the ability to adapt to external shocks.
The multidisciplinary research team consists of experts from psychology, sociology, ecology – and computer science.
“The motivation and hypotheses of the research mostly come from sociology. My role has to do with data, social networks and network analysis. Our project wants to make sociological issues quantitative and study the changes in our society and in our social networks with numbers”, Saramäki explains.
The research group will utilize, for instance, Finnish survey data and anonymized, aggregated mobile phone data on geographical mobility.
The goal of the consortium is also to bring their results into practice. They wish to support targeted, cost-effective regional solutions to family, youth and ageing services in regions facing either depopulation or population growth.
The members of the consortiurm come from Aalto University, University of Helsinki, University of Turku and The Family Federation of Finland.