Avatar

Danaja Maldeniya

PhD Candidate

University of Michigan

Biography

I am a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan School of Information. I work with my adviser Daniel Romero on information and structural dynamics in complex social, collaborative and other networks. In addition, I have a particular interest in modern data driven city science and the use of data for development (D4D).

Prior to starting at U-M, I was a researcher at LIRNEasia, a policy think tank based in Sri Lanka and operating in the Asia Pacific region. I was involved in the “Big Data for Development” project that seeks to use novel digital data sources such as call detail records (CDR) generated by mobile operators, satellite imagery and data from social media (Foursquare, Twitter) to generated policy insights in the fields of transport, urban development, disaster resilience, infectious disease propagation etc.

I have a Bachelors in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka (Class of 2011) and I worked for over two years as a software engineer (2012-2014) at CodeGen International, a leading Sri Lankan software company that develops software for tour operators.

Interests

  • Collective Intelligence
  • Collaborative Crowds
  • Complex Systems and Networks
  • Causal Inference

Education

  • BSc Computer Science & Engineering, 2011

    University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

Publications

The Role of Optimal Distinctiveness and Homophily in Online Dating

Users of online dating sites compete for attention from potential matches. Member profiles provide an opportunity for candidates to …

Understanding the Impact of Urban Infrastructure: New Insights from Population-Scale Data

As a growing share of the world’s population inhabits cities, a central focus of current development policy has been on building urban …

Big Data to Improve Urban Planning

Data analytics is a frontier field where the tools and techniques are still being developed. Expertise, a critical input, is in short …

Contact