Armin Pournaki


Joint PhD candidate at:
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig
Laboratoire Lattice, CNRS & ENS-PSL, Paris
SciencesPo médialab, Paris

Welcome to my website. I am a PhD candidate in the group of Jürgen Jost (MPI MiS) and Thierry Poibeau (Lattice). Together with them, Eckehard Olbrich (MPI MiS) and Jean-Philippe Cointet (médialab), I explore computational approaches to language and discourse analysis.
Previously, I was part of the ODYCCEUS project, where I did my master's thesis on opinion-dynamics based approaches to community detection and contributed by designing opinion observatories like the twitter explorer.
Before that, I wrote my bachelor's thesis in theoretical physics at the Technische Universität Berlin on synchronization patterns in modular neuronal networks under the supervision of Philipp Hövel.

Research Interests

Computational Social Science, Natural Language Processing, Complex Networks, Community Detection, Data Visualization


DPG SOE network
An interactive semantic similarity and co-authorship network of the proceedings of the sociophysics track of the German Physical Society

twitter explorer
A framework where users without programming skills can collect, transform and explore Twitter data as interactive networks to study the complex interaction mechanisms on social media

Leipzig Layout
Implementation of an interpretable force-directed graph layout based on a latent space model

Peer-reviewed articles

Grounding force-directed network layouts with latent space models
Gaisbauer, F., Pournaki, A., Banisch, S., Olbrich, E. (2023). Journal of Computational Social Science.

Order-disorder transition in the zero-temperature Ising model on random graphs
Pournaki, A., Olbrich, E., Banisch, S., & Klemm, K. (2023). Physical Review E, 107(5), 054112.

Inferring Attitudinal Spaces in Social Networks
Ramaciotti Morales, P., Cointet, J. P., Zolotoochin, G. M., Peralta, A. F., Iñiguez, G., Pournaki, A. (2022). Social Network Analysis and Mining, 13(1), 1-18

The Twitter Explorer: a Framework for Observing Twitter through Interactive Networks
Pournaki, A., Gaisbauer, F., Banisch, S., Olbrich, E. (2021). Journal of Digital Social Research, 3(1), 106–118.

Ideological differences in engagement in public debate on Twitter
Gaisbauer, F., Pournaki, A., Banisch, S., Olbrich, E. (2021). PLOS ONE 16(3): e0249241.

Synchronization Patterns in Modular Neuronal Networks: A Case Study of C. elegans
Pournaki, A., Merfort, L., Ruiz, J., Kouvaris, N. E., Hövel, P., & Hizanidis, J. (2019). Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, 5.


2023 | SciencesPo, Paris | Text as Data
Introduction to computational text analysis (with Jean-Philippe Cointet)

2023 | École Nationale des Chartes, Paris | Analyse de réseaux
Introduction to network science

2023 | SciencesPo, Paris / CEU Vienna | Diving into the digital public sphere
Teaching assistant in a course on computational social science
(course led by Jean-Philippe Cointet and Marton Karsai)

2022 | DHAI Intensive Week, Paris | Introduction to Topic Modelling
Intro to LDA and word-embedding based models

2022 | SFI Summer School, Vienna | Retweet networks as political spaces
Workshop on Twitter data collection, visualization and interpretation
(with Eckehard Olbrich)

2022 | SciencesPo, Paris / CEU Vienna | Diving into the digital public sphere
Teaching assistant in a course on computational social science
(course led by Jean-Philippe Cointet and Marton Karsai)

2022 | DHAI Intensive Week, Paris | French presidential elections on Twitter
Intensive course on data mining, network visualization and text analysis


2023/07/18 | Two years of trending topics: Measuring issue and user alignment on Twitter | IC²S² 2023, Copenhagen

2023/03/28 | Evolution of Socio- and Econophysics in the German Physical Society | DPG Conference 2023, Dresden

2023/02/12 | Interactive network visualizations as "guided close reading" devices for the social sciences | FOSDEM23, Brussels

2022/07/22 | Ideological, semantic and geographic proximity drive following behaviour on Twitter | IC²S² 2022, Chicago

2022/06/14 | Climate change contrarian discourse on social media | French-German Workshop, Inria

2022/06/07 | Retweet networks as political spaces: A case study of the French 2022 presidential elections | Kolloquium Analytische Soziologie, Uni Leipzig

2021/06/01 | Where is the urgency in the climate change discourse? | ODYCCEUS Online Conference 2021

2020/09/24 | The Twitter Explorer: A framework for observing Twitter through interactive networks | NetSci 2020, Rome

2020/06/19 | Observing Twitter through interactive networks | IC²S² 2020, Boston

2019/12/12 | Finding meaningful communities in complex networks | Complex Networks 2019, Lisbon


2021/11/08 | Installing Top2Vec on an M1/Silicon machine

2020/06/23 | Recording a conference presentation