about

tl;dr:

Felix Victor Münch is an early career researcher in computational social science with a PhD from the Digital Media Research Centre at QUT (Brisbane, Australia). Currently he works as a Postdoc Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut in Hamburg. With a B.Sc. in Physics (LMU, Munich, Germany), an M.A. in Journalism (LMU and German Journalist School, Munich, Germany) and work experience in online media brand communication as an online media concepter, user experience designer, and strategist, his main fields of interest were recently network science methodologies, social media analytics, big data, data science, and theories regarding the public sphere.

long version:

Felix Victor Münch is an early career researcher in computational social science with a PhD from the Digital Media Research Centre at QUT (Brisbane, Australia). Currently he works as a Postdoc Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut in Hamburg. With a B.Sc. in Physics (LMU, Munich, Germany), an M.A. in Journalism (LMU and German Journalist School, Munich, Germany) and work experience in online media brand communication as an online media concepter, user experience designer, and strategist, his main fields of interest were recently network science methodologies, social media analytics, big data, data science, and theories regarding the public sphere.

His Bachelor studies in physics (2007 – 2010) provided him the basics for developing his methodological toolset, with his Bachelor thesis focusing on the mathematical and computational modelling of a nonlinear dynamic system. His Master’s in journalism (2010 – 2012) was motivated by an ongoing interest in politics, society and social media. It brought him in touch with journalism, communication and media studies and gave him the chance to apply his natural science-inspired approaches to media studies by examining the suitability of news factors, commonly used to determine the relevance of broadcast or print news, to predict the popularity of online news on social media.

Subsequent experiences in broadcast, newspaper and social media as an editorial intern gave him hands-on insights into decision-making in classical media. Driven by his interest for computer science and information systems, and building on the research for his master thesis, he gained practical knowledge about the distribution of information on social media as a User Experience Designer, Copywriter and Digital Strategist for an online communication agency based in Hamburg (elbdudler GmbH, 2012 – 2014).

In his PhD research (2014-2019) he explored network science methods alongside media and communication theory in order to address questions about the structure and dynamics of public communication on a national to global scale. The project lead to new, detailed, empirical evidence about the structure of communities and publics on Twitter as well as the dynamics of information diffusion within these networks. In doing so, it revealed epistemological implications of the use of network analysis algorithms that have been mostly ignored in media and communication studies to date, and outlined a methodological framework to establish the bridgeheads necessary to connect the two disciplines. Therefore, the project’s main outcomes are not only new empirical procedures, but also a theoretical and epistemological framework, enabling a researcher to develop, validate, and extend theory about a networked public sphere.

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