Roberto Ponce-Lopez's broad area of interest consists of using methods from urban information systems to revisit classic questions on urban inequality. The topic of his doctoral dissertation is the social segmentation of the urban space. He approximates his question using a variety of methods such as network science, discrete choice models, and agent based models, and relying on theories from diverse fields such as economic geography, sociology and urban economics. His ultimate goal is to explore the relationship between urban morphology with the spatial sorting of activities and people within cities.
Roberto also works as research assistant for the SimMobility project, a land use and transportation integrated model that draws planning scenarios of future urban development. He uses discrete choice models to calibrate some of the core models that inform the behavior of the agent based simulator.
While at MIT, he has completed extensive coursework in urban economics, urban sociology, geographic information systems, database management, programming, spatial statistics, and econometrics. Prior to coming to MIT in 2012, Roberto completed a M.Sc. in Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. His professional work experience includes being Associate Director of Public Opinion, and Director of Geostatistics at the Office of the President of Mexico.