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VANESSA FRIAS MARTINEZ - a Scientific Researcher in the Data Mining and User Modeling Group at Telefonica Research in Madrid, Spain – focuses on technologies for emerging markets. She took participants through her work to determine specific human behaviors from cell phone data to evaluate the effectiveness of policy decisions. In order to measure the impact of the Mexican government’s H1N1 response in 2009, Vanessa analyzed call records to determine changes in people’s mobility patterns in Mexico City. The results indicated that the government’s policy to issue warnings to stay away from public spaces was in fact heeded by the citizens and thus effective in limiting exposure to the virus. Vanessa’s presentation also introduced cell phone data as cost-effective method to conduct demographic research in emerging economies.
Paper: "Measuring the Impact of Epidemic Alerts on Human Mobility using Cell-Phone Network Data"