Marta Gonzalez with phone held to her head standing with city scape as background.

Research Expertise and Interest

human mobility, network science, complex systems, urban science, spending behavior

Research Description

Marta C. Gonzalez is Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Physics Research faculty in the Energy Technology Area (ETA) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

With the support of several companies, cities and foundations, her research team develops computer models to analyze digital traces of information mediated by devices. They process this information to manage the demand in urban infrastructures in relation to energy and mobility. Her recent research uses billions of mobile phone records to understand the appearance of traffic jams and the integration of electric vehicles into the grid, smart meter data records to compare the policy of solar energy adoption and card transactions to identify habits in spending behavior.

Prior to joining Berkeley, Marta worked as an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, a member of the Operations Research Center and the Center for Advanced Urbanism. She is a member of the scientific council of technology companies such as Gran Data, PTV and the Pecan Street Project consortium.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
February 14, 2020
Improving handwashing rates in just 10 of the world's key airports could significantly quell the spread of many infectious diseases, a new study co-authored by an international team of scientists, including associate city and regional planning professor Marta Gonzalez. The study was completed just before the new coronavirus outbreak, but the authors say the results would certainly apply in this case too. Looking at data from prior studies, the researchers estimated that only 20 percent of people in airports have washed their hands properly -- with soap and water for at least 15 seconds -- and therefore have clean hands. The other 80 percent could be contaminating everything they touch with germs they may be carrying. If that 20% rate were tripled to 60% of travelers, the researchers estimated that global disease spread could be reduced by almost 70%.
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