NYU RiskEcon® Lab

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Mission and Mandate

The focus of RiskEcon® Lab @ Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences is to facilitate the development of software, analytics tools, and semantic libraries that employ high-dimensional datasets to integrate conventional data with web-enabled demographic, biometric, psychometric and sociometric data from innovative sources, by applying a range of computational and analytical methods to commercial, consumer and population-related societal trends, focusing primarily on research and development (R&D).

Our goal is to integrate web-enabled crowdsourcing with machine learning, data-mining, and text-mining, in order to promote research fundamental to large-scale, real world questions, employing applied computational statistics, and robust and scalable data analytic solutions, with three fundamental objectives:

▪ To foster, promote, and coordinate public-private-academic research partnerships

▪ To sponsor, fund, organize and manage big data libraries, and

▪ To advance NYU’s competency within applied computational statistics

Recent events demonstrate that large-scale geopolitical and socioeconomic questions may be related to changes in demographics, technology adoption, and consumer and lifestyle choices on the economy. It is crucial for decision-making in both industry and government to understand these patterns and trends, the most critical of which are the emerging effects of changes in technology and consumer behavior on finance, labor, housing, income and wealth distribution, immigration, aging, health and the environment.

RiskEcon® Lab's primary role is to enable, facilitate and coordinate academic research focusing on these patterns and trends, via the development of commercially-viable, analytic applications employing computational statistical tools in conjunction with innovative and non-traditional data structures. In addition, the lab's activities involve the advancement of applied mathematical statistics and computational economics, through interdisciplinary post-doctoral, postgraduate, graduate research and education in data science and social computing.

RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics was established in 2011 at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, an independent division of New York University (NYU). Courant is considered to be one of the world’s leading mathematics educational and scientific research centers, and has been ranked first in research in applied mathematics. RiskEcon® Lab is the cornerstone of the Computational Economics and Algorithmic Data Analytics (CEcADA) cooperative at New York University, established concurrently in 2011.

As part of the CEcADA collaborative initiative, RiskEcon® Lab provided seed funding and support for the leadership of the NYU Center for Data Science (NYUCDS) during its establishment, preceding the funding from the Moore-Sloan Grant.

RiskEcon® Lab Co-Executive Directors, Mordecai and Kappagoda, were also instrumental in establishing the AIG-NYU Partnership on Innovation for Global Resilience, a five-year, $5.5 million joint collaborative research program, in conjunction with Paul Horn, Senior Vice Provost for Research and Senior Vice Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship. In 2016, RiskEcon® Lab co-hosted an event held at the New York Academy of Sciences with the Organization of Biological Field Stations, honoring Dr. Gene Likens of the Cary Institute of Ecosystems, with Mark Ruffalo as the keynote speaker.

Founders

Leslie Greengard

Executive Principal Investigator

David K.A. Mordecai

David K.A. Mordecai is lead investigator at the RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics, established in 2011 in order to apply a range of computational and analytical methods to commercial, consumer and population-related societal trends, and Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University (NYU). In his advisory capacity for the lab, he leads technical oversight for research activities exploring applications of agent-based computing and statistical inference, in conjunction with machine learning systems and methods, to a broad range of commercial and institutional contexts.

Samantha Kappagoda

Samantha Kappagoda is an investigator at the RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics, established in 2011 in order to apply a range of computational and analytical methods to commercial, consumer and population-related societal trends. She leads research efforts in the domains of consumer behavior, socieconomic/demographic trends and income distribution. She is also a Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University (NYU), and associated with the Social Media and Political Participation Lab (SMaPP) at NYU, an interdisciplinary collaboration that investigates the relationships between social media and political behavior.