Karel Devriendt is a doctoral student in applied mathematics at the University of Oxford and The Alan Turing Institute. The focus of his PhD project is to further develop the theoretical foundations of network science. Karel obtained a BSc in engineering from the KU Leuven in Belgium and spent one year at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden studying multimedia signal processing. His current interest in networks started during his MSc in electrical engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, from which he graduated cum laude. The multidisciplinary nature of network science has led Karel to research projects in a number of different fields, with positions held at the VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam and the Quantum & Computer Engineering Department of the Delft University of Technology.
Many of today’s biggest challenges in science and engineering involve complex systems. In these systems, such as the human brain, the internet or social networks, complexity means that the whole cannot simply be described as the sum of its parts. In a social network, for instance, knowing the behaviour of each individual separately is not enough to understand the diverse social patterns that can emerge from interactions between people. Network science provides a framework to model such systems by explicitly including the interactions between constituents of the system. Whether these networks are made up of interconnected neurons, websites or individuals, they can all be studied using the same general methodology and mathematical tools developed by network scientists.
Karel’s research focuses on further developing these mathematical tools and applying and testing them on various real networks. In previous research at the Network Architectures and Services group in Delft, he studied the spreading of diseases, super-spreaders in networks, robustness of power grids and geometric tools for network science. At the Turing, Karel will continue his research on network science under supervision of Professor Lambiotte.