Meet Erik Morrow

Erik Morrow is a Master’s student working on a project with Martin Rosvall on the Map Equation website

How did you come to be in IceLab?

I first met Martin Rosvall a few years ago when he was teaching a course on information theory, networks and markets. I thought the course was one of the more enjoyable ones I have taken. I particularly liked learning about game theory – that was my first encounter with that. It was interesting to think that things aren’t always what they seem – information cascades, herd mentality, these can change people’s behavior so they don’t always act logically.

Last spring,I reached out to Martin to ask about doing my project with him – and at the beginning of September I started!

What are you working on for your project?

I am working on the demo website. The map equation is a tool for network community detection with respect to the structure and flow on a network. I am programming a more user-friendly story for the map equation demo to introduce new users to the basics of how the map equation works, from big picture to specific applications. The goal is to be able to showcase the possibilities of the map equation for a first time user in an intuitive way, as well as be able to use the demo page as a teaching tool. The work is primarily in web development, which is something of a new area for me. There is the possibility to extend it to build functionality for a user to draw a network by hand and then solve that network’s optimal structure. I may not have time to get to that, but it would be fun to do.

What are you most excited about in the project?

The programming! At the moment, I am mostly messing with the React code, experimenting by changing parameters and seeing what happens. Usually, something breaks, and then I backtrack and try again. It’s a good way of learning how the code works before building something new.

Tell us more about you!

My mom is Swedish from Skövde, and my dad is American – from New Jersey, and through his job I got to live in many countries growing up. I was born in Taiwan, and also lived in Japan, South Korea, and Morocco, as well as Sweden. Here in Umeå I enjoy rock climbing, and disc golf.

What’s next for you?

Right now, I am still exploring possibilities. Web development is a new area for me -before this I was specializing in financial modeling in the Teknisk Fysik / Engineering Physics program, but during the pandemic I got into more programming, which led me to the web development work I am doing now. As to what comes next – I don’t know yet! You’ll just have to wait and see.

Excited about IceLab and wish you could join us as a team member? Our researchers often have opportunities for Master’s students, PhD scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships.  Browse our currently open positions or contact a researcher directly and see what options we have for you.

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