Analysing complex social sequence data

My research at IAS focuses on applying and developing methods for the analysis of social sequence data, especially longitudinal register data on segregation. My methodological work deals with combining sequence analysis and probabilistic modelling for complex social sequence data. I am also involved in studies on individual residential trajectories and neighbourhood segregation as well as life histories of political candidates.

Current research

My methodological work focuses on combining sequence analysis and probabilistic modelling and developing methods for simulating complex social sequence data e.g., residential, employment, and family trajectories that are studied in parallel, with the aim of studying effects of interventions on individuals' trajectories. In addition to the methodological work I am collaborating with Juta Kawalerowicz on analysing life histories of political candidates and with Benjamin Jarvis on residential trajectories and neighbourhood segregation.

Previous research

I completed my PhD in statistics at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland in 2016. In my thesis I compared different statistical methods - sequence analysis, event history analysis, and hidden Markov models - for the analysis of complex life course data. These methods were described and tested with empirical analyses, e.g., to study which types of joint family and career trajectories are typical and which atypical with Mervi Eerola, to find associations between individuals' childhood characteristics and their future partnership trajectories with Fiona Steele, Katja Kokko, Eija Räikköinen, and Mervi Eerola, and to compress information across various life domains into more general life stages with Jouni Helske and Mervi Eerola.

In addition to the thesis the PhD resulted in an R package called seqHMM which is free software for analysing and visualizing categorical sequence data with (mixture) hidden Markov models (with Jouni Helske).

Following my PhD I worked as a post doc in the Multigenerational Demography group in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford, working on transmission of education. My research was focused on educational reproduction and the role of childhood family events in the multigenerational transmission of education with Richard Breen and John Ermisch.

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Associate member, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, UK 1 January 2017-31 December 2019.


Longitudinal Data Analysis Contest Award, LaCOSA II conference 2016, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Best Poster Award, Nordstat conference 2014, Turku, Finland.

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