I am an applied mathematician and social scientist who works on modeling and designing socio-economic systems. I am particularly interested in dynamics of opinion and attitude formation and how it influences democratic collective decision making through deliberative interaction. I see opinion dynamics as an interdisciplinary topic because it touches social psychology, game theory and dynamics of complex systems. It is on the one hand driven by automatic cognitive and emotional processes, on the other hand it has elements of a strategic game, especially in the run-up to poll, election or other collective decision. Finally, interaction in large groups can have surprising systemic effects on macroscopic outcomes going beyond the scope of the individual.
I want to contribute to detect such self-driven hidden dynamics to better understand phenomena as polarization, evolution of plurality, social cohesion, consensus and extremism in opinion landscapes.
I want to find democratic innovations to aggregate the wisdom of the crowd (if it exists) in collective decisions under circumstances of ongoing opinion dynamics and strategic behavior of many people.
I studied at the University of Bremen, where I also finished my doctoral studies in 2007. I was a post-doc at ETH Zurich at the Chair of Systems Design until 2009 and a scientist, lab manager and lecturer in political and social sciences at the at University of Oldenburg. Now I am with Jacobs University Bremen and Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences. I worked on the cohesion radar.
In the past I spent time in developing and performing in a travelling youth theater, in juggling clubs and balls, and in playing board games. I live with my family in Bremen.