The University of Chicago Header Logo
Last Name

Luis Bettencourt

InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
DepartmentEcology and Evolution
AddressChicago IL 60637
vCardDownload vCard

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    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.

    Collapse Biography 
    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

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Twitter
    Collapse Featured Videos
    Collapse Websites

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    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.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Bettencourt LMA. Urban growth and the emergent statistics of cities. Sci Adv. 2020 Aug; 6(34):eaat8812. PMID: 32875099.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Bettencourt LMA. Urban growth and the emergent statistics of cities. Sci Adv. 2020 Aug; 6(34). PMID: 32937357.
      View in: PubMed
    3. 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.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Shutters ST, Lobo J, Muneepeerakul R, Strumsky D, Mellander C, Brachert M, Farinha T, Bettencourt LMA. Urban occupational structures as information networks: The effect on network density of increasing number of occupations. PLoS One. 2018; 13(5):e0196915. PMID: 29734354.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Brelsford C, Lobo J, Hand 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.
      View in: PubMed
    6. 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.
      View in: PubMed
    7. 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.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Schläpfer M, Bettencourt LM, Grauwin S, Raschke M, Claxton R, Smoreda Z, West GB, Ratti C. The scaling of human interactions with city size. J R Soc Interface. 2014 Sep 06; 11(98):20130789. PMID: 24990287.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Bettencourt LM. The Uses of Big Data in Cities. Big Data. 2014 Mar; 2(1):12-22. PMID: 27447307.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Bettencourt LM, Trancik JE, Kaur J. Determinants of the pace of global innovation in energy technologies. PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e67864. PMID: 24155867.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Bettencourt LM. The origins of scaling in cities. Science. 2013 Jun 21; 340(6139):1438-41. PMID: 23788793.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Bettencourt LM, Kaur J. Evolution and structure of sustainability science. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Dec 06; 108(49):19540-5. PMID: 22114186.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Bettencourt L, West G. A unified theory of urban living. Nature. 2010 Oct 21; 467(7318):912-3. PMID: 20962823.
      View in: PubMed
    14. 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.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Bettencourt LM, Lobo J, Helbing D, Kühnert C, West GB. 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.
      View in: PubMed
    Bettencourt's Networks
    Click the "See All" links for more information and interactive visualizations!
    Concepts Expand Description
    Similar People Expand Description
    Same Department Expand Description
    Physical Neighbors Expand Description