2019-09-16 14:30:00 2019-09-16 15:30:00 America/New_York Research Seminar Series - Ali Mostafavi, PhD Assistant Professor, Zachry Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Texas A&M University BRWN 1154

September 16, 2019

Research Seminar Series - Ali Mostafavi, PhD

Event Date: September 16, 2019
Hosted By: School of Industrial Engineering
Time: 1:30 - 2:30 PM
Location: BRWN 1154
Contact Name: Leza Dellinger
Contact Phone: 765-49-45444
Contact Email: lrdellin@purdue.edu
Priority: No
School or Program: Industrial Engineering
College Calendar: Show
Assistant Professor, Zachry Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Texas A&M University

"Interdisciplinary Disaster Research in the Digital Age: Uncovering Human Network Dynamics during Built Environment Disruptions"


Social media and other crowdsourced applications have become a new form of infrastructure for communities in coping with disasters. The growing use of digital technologies in disasters provides unprecedented data for interdisciplinary researchers to study complex phenomena in the nexus of humans, disasters, and the built environment. This talk will highlight four interrelated studies focusing on understanding human interactions with the built environment during disaster-induced disruptions. The first study examines the emergence of influential users and their role in improving situational information dissemination about infrastructure disruptions in disasters. Various essential characteristics that give rise to emerging influential users are explained using twitter data from Hurricane Harvey in Houston. The second study describes an Online Network Reticulation (ONR) framework to examine four modalities (i.e., enactment, activation, reticulation, and network performance) in the evolution of online social networks to analyze the interplays among disruptive events in disasters, user activities, and information diffusion performance on social media. The third study focus on social sensing in detecting disruptions and analyzing evolutions of the situation about critical infrastructure. The study presents a graph-based method composed of data filtering, burst time-frame detection, content similarity calculation, graph analysis and situation evolution analysis. The last study presented in this talk will focus on a novel approach, called Social sensing for retrieving Disaster Impacts and Societal Considerations (SocialDISC). The study analyzes emotion signals (anger, fear, anticipation, trust, surprise, sadness, joy, and disgust) in the tweets to examine the societal impacts of community disruptions. The study shows that emotional signals can be indicators of people’s reaction or experience in dealing with disruptions in community infrastructure. In the final part of this talk, I will use the findings of the four studies to illustrate the interdisciplinary contributions at the intersection of civil infrastructure, network science, and disaster fields.

Photo of Dr. Ali MostafaviBIO

Dr. Ali Mostafavi received his PhD in Civil Eng. from Purdue University in 2013. Dr. Mostafavi joined the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University in August 2016, after serving as an Assistant Professor at Florida International University (2013-2016). He supervises the Urban Resilience, Networks, and Informatics Lab. At Texas A&M, he is a fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Communities; the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy; and the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center. Dr. Mostafavi's research focuses on analyzing, modeling, and improving network dynamics in the nexus of humans, disasters, and the built environment to foster convergence knowledge of resilient communities. His research program is supported by various agencies such as NSF, NAS, CII, TXDOT, and AWS. He received several awards and honors such as an Early-Career Research Fellowship from the National Academies’ Gulf Research Program and a NSF CAREER Award. Dr. Mostafavi is a member of the ASCE.