Virtual Talk with Corinna Coupette


Networks are everywhere, and their mathematical representations as graphs are investigated in virtually every discipline across the formal sciences, the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. Consequently, the relevance of network data for reasoning about—and ultimately improving—our complex, interconnected world can hardly be overstated. Given the ubiquity and importance of network data, the intricate process of transforming real-world phenomena into graphs—i.e., network data modeling—has received remarkably little attention. Integrating the perspectives of a domain data scientist and a method developer, in this talk, I will discuss why network data modeling has been understudied, how this promotes problematic data practices, and what we can do about it. In particular, I will cover defining, documenting, and distributing network data as the principal challenges we need to face in order to foster a productive exchange between subject-matter experts seeking to understand network data and computing experts striving to develop network methods.


Corinna Coupette studied law at Bucerius Law School and Stanford Law School, completing her First State Exam in Hamburg in 2015. She obtained a PhD in law from Bucerius Law School and a BSc in computer science from LMU Munich, both in 2018, as well as an MSc in computer science from Saarland University in 2020. Her legal dissertation, which introduces legal network science to German legal discourse, was awarded the Bucerius Dissertation Award in 2018 and an Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society in 2020. Corinna is currently a research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, a fellow at the Bucerius Center for Legal Technology and Data Science, and a guest at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance. She was awarded the Caroline von Humboldt Prize for outstanding female junior scientists in 2022, defended her PhD in computer science on expressive methods for exploring complex graph data in October 2023, and will join KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Stockholm Resilience Center as a Digital Futures postdoctoral fellow in November 2023.

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