Federico Botta is a PhD student at the University of Warwick. His research focuses on complex social systems and is aimed at providing a deeper understanding of how such systems behave. Technological devices, such as smart phones, and technological systems, such as the Internet, provide an unprecedented source of information on human behaviour and his work focuses on investigating how people interact with these systems.

These interactions often contribute to create a deeply interconnected structure that can be analysed using tools from network science, a recent interdisciplinary part of complex systems science.

Using different tools ranging from network theory to physical and computer sciences, Botta analyses large data sets to study social systems and human behaviour. Part of his research also focuses on improving current techniques in the analysis of networked systems.

In recent work, in collaboration with Suzy Moat and Tobias Preis, he has suggested that data generated simply through our use of mobile phones and Twitter might offer surprisingly accurate estimates of crowd size. Analysing data from Milan, Italy, the team has been able to estimate attendance numbers for football matches in San Siro stadium, as well as the number of people at Linate airport at any given time.