Faculty - Marta C. González

Marta C. González's photo

Marta C. González

Assistant Professor

Room 1-153
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Telephone: 617.715.4140 Email: martag@mit.edu Research Website: http://humnetlab.mit.edu/ Assistant: Roberta Pizzinato / robertap@mit.edu

(link to CV)


  • Licentiate in physics, Universidad Simon Bolivar, 1999
  • Magister Sc. in physics, Central University of Venezuela, 2001
  • Ph.D. in physics (Dr. rer. nat), Stuttgart Univarsität, 2006

Research Interests

     Professor Gonzalez's research is focused on the analysis of vast data collections gathered from different human-driven activities and the formulation of models that elucidate the underlying principles of the observed scenarios.  She adapts statistical physics approaches to understand and model cities. She analyzes passive data generated from human activities and reduce it, extracting only the most important statistical information. The end result is computer models that can accurately capture urban activity patterns to develop solutions based on information technology. In contrast to individual surveys, she focuses in the flow of instant information from communication technologies, such as: social media, mobile phones, or gps traces... Her methods inform decisions towards better cities, through alternative modes of transportation or more sustainable energy usage. 

Teaching Interests

-To introduce the undergraduate population of Civil and Environmental Engineering to the field of network science and data analytics.

-To teach  methods that extract useful information from digital traces of human activity. Numerical methods to cluster the structure inherent in daily activities within a population and to devise data driven models of for developing City Science.

Courses taught:

- 1.204 Computer Modeling: Human Mobility and Networks

- 1.041 Transportation Systms Modeling

- 1.00 Intro Comp & Engr Prob Solving

(link to class projects of 1.041 and 1.204)

Awards and Honors

  • Gilbert Winslow Career Development Professorship Award. January 2012
  • Best Paper Award in the ACM SIGKDD International Workshop on Urban
  • Computing, KDD'12, Beijing (w. Students). August 2012
  • Best Paper Award in the ACM SIGKDD International Workshop on UrbanComputing, KDD'13, Chicago. (w. Students) August 2013
  • NEC and Buchbaum Fellowships MIT Research Support Committee (April, 2010) 
  • DAAD Fellowship for PhD Studies (2002-2006)

Selected Publications

  1. "Limits of Predictability in Commuting Flows in the Absence of Data for Calibration" (Yingxiang Yang, Carlos Herrera, Nathan Eagle and Marta C. González, Vittoria Colizza), Scientific Reports, 4 : 5662 doi:10.1038/srep05662 (2014)
  2. "A Review of Urban Computing for Mobile Phone Traces: Current Methods, Challenges and Opportunities", S. Jiang, Y. Yang, G. Fiore, J. Ferreira Jr., E. Frazzoli, M.C. González, Proceedings of the ACM SIGKDD International Workshop on Urban Computing,  (2013). (“BEST PAPER AWARD”)
  3. "The Potential of Low-Frequency AVL Data for the Monitoring and Control of Bus Performance", Y. Yang, D. Gerstle, P. Widhalm, D. Bauer, M.C. González, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Volume 2351, pp. 54-64, Transit 2013, Vol. 2 (2013)
  4. "Unraveling Daily Human Mobility Motifs", C.M. Schneider, V. Belik, T. Couronné, Z. Smoreda, M.C. González,  Journal of The Royal Society Interface, volume 10, (2013).
  5. "Understanding Road Usage Patterns in Urban Areas", P. Wang, T. Hunter, A. Bayen, K. Schechtner, M.C. González, Scientific Reports, volume 2, (2012).
  6. "Clustering daily patterns of human activities in the city", S. Jiang, J. Ferreira Jr, M.C. González,  Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, volume 25, 478-510, (2012).
  7. "Modeling the adoption of innovations in the presence of geographic and media influences", J. Toole, M. Cha, M.C. González, PLoS ONE, volume 7, (2012).
  8. "A universal model for mobility and migration patterns", F. Simini, M.C. González, Maritan A., A.-L. Barabási), Nature, volume 484, (2012)