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Luis Bettencourt

InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
DepartmentEcology and Evolution
AddressChicago IL 60637
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    I am a Professor of Ecology and Evolution and Associate Faculty in Sociology. I am also the Inaugural Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

    My research investigates fundamental processes of biological and social organization and evolution in complex systems, with an emphasis on urban environments.

    I create multidisciplinary theory and methods to deal with integrated concepts in these complex systems, often based on network structures and processes of learning and adaptation. My research seeks to explore new data and contexts that allow for quantitative comparisons among population through time and space in order to produce new insights and theory.

    My work has contributed significantly to a new sense of excitement and possibility about urban science, unifying urban themes over space and time, and the convergence of ideas and methods for new insights across complex systems more generally.

    I teach "Introduction to Urban Sciences" (ENST 24600) and "The Mathematics of Evolution" (BIOS 13141 1) at the University of Chicago.

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    Collapse education and training
    Imperial College , London, UKPhD09/1996Theoretical Physics
    Collapse awards and honors
    2018 - 2019Member at Large: Social, Political and Economic Sciences , American Association for the Advancement of Science
    2016Technology and the Future of Cities, Presidential Committee for the Advancement of Science and Technology
    2013Young Leader, World Cities Summit
    2000 - 2001Slansky Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    1998 - 2000Director's Postdoctoral Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory

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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Bettencourt LMA. Recent achievements and conceptual challenges for urban digital twins. Nat Comput Sci. 2024 Mar; 4(3):150-153. PMID: 38532135.
      Citations:    Fields:    
    2. Bettencourt LMA. Urban growth and the emergent statistics of cities. Sci Adv. 2020 Aug; 6(34):eaat8812. PMID: 32875099; PMCID: PMC7438098.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    
    3. Bettencourt LMA. Urban growth and the emergent statistics of cities. Sci Adv. 2020 Aug; 6(34). PMID: 32937357.
    4. Brelsford C, Martin T, Hand J, Bettencourt LMA. Toward cities without slums: Topology and the spatial evolution of neighborhoods. Sci Adv. 2018 08; 4(8):eaar4644. PMID: 30167459; PMCID: PMC6114988.
      Citations: 13     Fields:    
    5. Shutters ST, Muneepeerakul R, Strumsky D, Brachert M, Farinha T, Bettencourt LMA, Lobo J, Mellander C. Urban occupational structures as information networks: The effect on network density of increasing number of occupations. PLoS One. 2018; 13(5):e0196915. PMID: 29734354; PMCID: PMC5937748.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    6. Brelsford C, Hand J, Lobo J, Bettencourt LMA. Heterogeneity and scale of sustainable development in cities. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 08 22; 114(34):8963-8968. PMID: 28461489; PMCID: PMC5576773.
      Citations: 22     Fields:    
    7. Youn H, Strumsky D, Bettencourt LM, Lobo J. Invention as a combinatorial process: evidence from US patents. J R Soc Interface. 2015 May 06; 12(106). PMID: 25904530; PMCID: PMC4424706.
      Citations: 41     Fields:    
    8. Ortman SG, Cabaniss AH, Sturm JO, Bettencourt LM. Settlement scaling and increasing returns in an ancient society. Sci Adv. 2015 Feb; 1(1):e1400066. PMID: 26601129; PMCID: PMC4644079.
      Citations: 19     Fields:    
    9. Raschke M, Claxton R, Smoreda Z, West GB, Ratti C, Schläpfer M, Bettencourt LM, Grauwin S. The scaling of human interactions with city size. J R Soc Interface. 2014 Sep 06; 11(98):20130789. PMID: 24990287; PMCID: PMC4233681.
      Citations: 64     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Bettencourt LM. The Uses of Big Data in Cities. Big Data. 2014 Mar; 2(1):12-22. PMID: 27447307.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    
    11. Trancik JE, Kaur J, Bettencourt LM. Determinants of the pace of global innovation in energy technologies. PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e67864. PMID: 24155867; PMCID: PMC3796528.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    
    12. Bettencourt LM. The origins of scaling in cities. Science. 2013 Jun 21; 340(6139):1438-41. PMID: 23788793.
      Citations: 202     Fields:    
    13. Kaur J, Bettencourt LM. Evolution and structure of sustainability science. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Dec 06; 108(49):19540-5. PMID: 22114186; PMCID: PMC3241817.
      Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    14. Bettencourt L, West G. A unified theory of urban living. Nature. 2010 Oct 21; 467(7318):912-3. PMID: 20962823.
      Citations: 92     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    15. Bollen J, Van de Sompel H, Hagberg A, Bettencourt L, Chute R, Rodriguez MA, Balakireva L. Clickstream data yields high-resolution maps of science. PLoS One. 2009; 4(3):e4803. PMID: 19277205; PMCID: PMC2652715.
      Citations: 27     Fields:    
    16. Helbing D, West GB, Bettencourt LM, Lobo J, Kühnert C. Growth, innovation, scaling, and the pace of life in cities. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Apr 24; 104(17):7301-6. PMID: 17438298; PMCID: PMC1852329.
      Citations: 337     Fields:    
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