March 25: Roland Molontay (QSMS Seminar)

Roland Molontay (BME, department of Stochastics) will introduce the HSDSlab: Network science and machine learning in empirical social sciences on March 25th at 16:00 PM, room QA323.


In this talk, I will review some recent works of the Human and Social Data Science Lab (HSDSLab). HSDSLab is a young research group based in the Institute of Mathematics at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. HSDSLab conducts both methodology-oriented basic research in data and network science and applied research with a human-centered and societal focus. The talk will revolve around three main topics: (1) Educational data science. (2) Social media analysis. (3) Science of science. I will sketch some of our data-driven research projects from the educational domain, including identifying students at risk of dropping out using explainable artificial intelligence, assessing the predictive validity of the admission system, and quantifying the relationship between student evaluation of teaching and grade inflation. Next, I will present our findings about the virality of social media posts, especially regarding the local and global context of image-with-text memes. Moreover, I will also briefly mention our recent project on a novel measure to evaluate the impact of scientific journals.

March 18: Anastas P. Tenev (QSMS Seminar)

Anastas P. Tenev (Corvinus University of Budapest) will present the paper “Planned vs. Dynamic Obsolescence (Authors: Vyacheslav Arbuzov, Toygar T. Kerman, Anastas P. Tenev) on March 18th at 15:00 PM, room QA323.


A durable-goods monopolist might practice planned obsolescence by deliberately producing goods that have short lifespans to ensure repeat purchases in the future. We consider a two-period model where a durable-goods monopolist might engage in “dynamic obsolescence” by changing the durability of the good in period 2 from what was planned in period 1 once consumers have bought it. This could be the case with goods that need repeated software updates. The monopolist faces a time-inconsistency problem due to misaligned incentives across time. We show that, given the opportunity to do so, the monopolist adjusts the durability across periods and chooses a lower durability than the initially chosen one in the subgame perfect Nash equilibrium of the game. Moreover, we show that if the monopolist could commit to the initially chosen durability, then he would achieve a higher profit compared to the case of dynamic adjustment of durability.

March 11: George Marten (QSMS Seminar)

George Marten (Heriot-Watt University) will present his paper “EUK Air Pollution: Gross Damages vs Value Added” on March 11th at 10:30 AM, room QA405.


Gross Value Added (GVA) is overestimated due to the creation of air pollution, but the extent of this overestimation might have declined over the last two decades of improved to air quality in the UK. This paper will adjust a model developed for US air pollution accounting in Muller and Mendelsohn (2007), which has been applied extensively to US data. Estimating gross external damages of air pollution will help in evaluating the relative benefits of various recent emissions policies in the UK, specifically within cities.