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About me

Dr. Lu is a computer scientist with extensive experience in quantitative sociology and public health. His research includes analytics for big data, social networks, and statistical sampling techniques. In addition to the study of human behaviors during disasters and aid emergency responses with mobile phone data, Dr. Lu is developing disease outbreak models for a syndromic surveillance system in rural China in an EU funded (FP 7) program. He is also a consultant/researcher at the Division of Infectious Disease in China CDC, and affiliated to the Chinese National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), which is heading China’s supercomputer development program. 

Dr. Lu is the co-founder of Flowminder Foundation, which is devoted to improve public health and welfare in low- and middle-income countries with big data analytics. He is a member of the research group Global Health, HIV and SRHR, led by Professor Anna Mia Ekström, at the Department of Public Health Sciences

Selective Publications:

  • Lu X, Wrathall DJ, Sundsøy PR, Nadiruzzaman M, Wetter E, Iqbal A, et al. Unveiling hidden migration and mobility patterns in climate stressed regions: A longitudinal study of six million anonymous mobile phone users in Bangladesh. Global Environmental Change, 2016,38:1-7.
  • Buckee C O, Tatem A, Wetter E, Lu X, and Bengtsson L. Society: Protect Privacy of Mobile Data. Nature, 514, 7520 (2014): 35-35. 
  • Lu X, Brelsford C. Network Structure and Community Evolution on Twitter: Human Behavior in Response to The 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. Scientific Reports, 2014, 4, 6773. 
  • Lu X. Linked Ego Networks: Improving Estimate Reliability and Validity with Respondent-driven Sampling. Social Networks, 2013, 35: 669-685. 
  • Lu, X., Wetter, E., Bharti, N., et al. Approaching the Limit of Predictability in Human Mobility. Scientific Reports, 2013, 3, 2923. 
  • Lu X, Bengtsson L, Holme P. Predictability of population displacement after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, 109 (29), 11576-11581. 
  • Lu X, Bengtsson L, Britton T, Camitz M, Kim BJ, Thorson A, Liljeros F. The Sensitivity of Respondent-driven Sampling Method.  Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 2012, 175: 191-216. 
  • Bengtsson L, Lu X, Garfield R, Thorson A, Schreeb J V. Improved Response to Disasters and Outbreaks: Tracking Population Movements with Mobile Phone Network Data in Haiti. PLOS Medicine, 2011; 8 (8): e1001083 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001083


PhD from Department of Public Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet, He worked at the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University during 2009~2012 and the Institute For Future Studies in Stockholm in early 2013.

Research description

Dr. Lu's research is multidiciplinarily distributed in the following areas: 

  • Mobile phone data based human traveling behavior analysis during nature disasters.
  • Evaluating and improving Respondent-driven sampling method (RDS), a "network-based sampling" strategy for HIV-related high-risk population surveys.
  • Network-based epidemic modeling of sexual transmitted diseases (STI).
  • Operational research, graph algorithms.
  • Anomaly detection models for Symdromic Surveillance Systems.
  • Other issues in Big Data, Mobility, Complex Networks, Social Networks, Complex Systems, Organizational Dynamics, Human Behaviors, etc..

Academic honours, awards and prizes

2015, National Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars, for the outstanding work in "Big Data and Emergency Response", by NSFC (National Nature Science Foundation of China). 


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