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Dr Lewis Mitchell

Lewis Mitchell
Lecturer in Applied Mathematics
School of Mathematical Sciences
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

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Dr Lewis Mitchell

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD, but is currently at capacity — email supervisor to discuss availability.


My research interests are in event prediction using open data, social networks, computational social science, human dynamics, as well as the mathematics of weather and climate, particularly ensemble-based data assimilation techniques. Please consult my homepage for further information.

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Date Position Institution name
2014 Lecturer in Applied Mathematics University of Adelaide
2011 - 2014 Ed Lorenz postdoctoral fellow in the mathematics of climate University of Vermont

Awards and Achievements

Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
2018 Award SA Young Tall Poppy Award Australian Institute of Policy & Science Australia
2017 Teaching Award ECMS Faculty Teaching Award (Continuing)
2017 Honour Fresh Science SA Finallist


Date Institution name Country Title
2008 - 2012 University of Sydney Australia PhD
2003 - 2007 University of Wollongong Australia BMath (Hons) (Adv) / BSc (Physics) (Adv)

Research Interests


Year Citation
2018 Venohr, M., Langhans, S., Peters, O., Holker, F., Arlinghaus, R., Mitchell, L., & Wolter, C. (2018). The underestimated dynamics and impacts of water-based recreational activities on freshwater ecosystems. Environmental Reviews, 26(2), 199-213.
DOI Scopus1 WoS1
2018 Bagrow, J. P., & Mitchell, L. (2018). The quoter model: a paradigmatic model of the social flow of written information. Chaos, 28, 1-9.
2018 Tiggemann, M., Churches, O., Mitchell, L., & Brown, Z. (2018). Tweeting weight loss: A comparison of #thinspiration and #fitspiration communities on Twitter. Body Image, 25, 133-138.
2018 Bellsky, T., & Mitchell, L. (2018). A shadowing-based inflation scheme for ensemble data assimilation. Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, 380-381, 1-7.
2018 Hossny, A., Moschuo, T., Osborne, G., Mitchell, L., & Lothian, N. (2018). Enhancing keyword correlation for event detection in social networks using SVD and k-means: Twitter case study. Social Network Analysis and Mining, 8(1).
2018 Cope, R., Ross, J., Chilver, M., Stocks, N., & Mitchell, L. (2018). Characterising seasonal influenza epidemiology using primary care surveillance data. PLoS Computational Biology, 14(8), 1006377.
2018 Tuke, J., Nguyen, A., Nasim, M., Mellor, D., Wickramasinghe, A., Bean, N. G., & Mitchell, L. (2018). Pachinko Prediction: A Bayesian method for event prediction from social media data.. CoRR, abs/1809.08427.
2017 Dodds, P., Dewhurst, D., Hazlehurst, F., Van Oort, C., Mitchell, L., Reagan, A., . . . Danforth, C. (2017). Simon's fundamental rich-get-richer model entails a dominant first-mover advantage. Physical Review E, 95(5), 7 pages.
DOI Scopus3 WoS3 Europe PMC1
2017 Alajajian, S., Williams, J., Reagan, A., Alajajian, S., Frank, M., Mitchell, L., . . . Dodds, P. (2017). The Lexicocalorimeter: gauging public health through caloric input and output on social media. PLoS ONE, 12(2), e0168893-1-e0168893-25.
DOI Scopus5 WoS4 Europe PMC2
2016 Dodds, P., Mitchell, L., Reagan, A., & Danforth, C. (2016). Tracking climate change through the spatiotemporal dynamics of the Teletherms, the statistically hottest and coldest days of the year. PLoS One, 11(5), e0154184-1-e0154184-20.
DOI Scopus2 WoS2
2016 Kiley, D., Reagan, A., Mitchell, L., Danforth, C., & Dodds, P. (2016). Game story space of professional sports: Australian rules football. Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, 93(5), 052314-1-052314-14.
DOI Scopus3 WoS2
2016 Reagan, A., Mitchell, L., Kiley, D., Danforth, C., & Dodds, P. (2016). The emotional arcs of stories are dominated by six basic shapes. EPJ Data Science, 5(1), 31-1-31-12.
DOI Scopus13 WoS12
2016 Mitchell, L., & Ross, J. (2016). A data-driven model for influenza transmission incorporating media effects. Royal Society Open Science, 3(10), 160481-1-160481-10.
DOI Scopus2 WoS2
2015 Dodds, P., Clark, E., Desu, S., Frank, M., Reagan, A., Williams, J., . . . Danforth, C. (2015). Reply to Garcia et al.: common mistakes in measuring frequency-dependent word characteristics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(23), E2984-E2985.
DOI Scopus3 WoS2 Europe PMC1
2015 Cody, E., Reagan, A., Mitchell, L., Dodds, P., & Danforth, C. (2015). Climate change sentiment on Twitter: an unsolicited public opinion poll. PLoS One, 10(8), e0136092-1-e0136092-18.
DOI Scopus22 WoS16 Europe PMC5
2015 Dodds, P., Clark, E., Desu, S., Frank, M., Reagan, A., Williams, J., . . . Danforth, C. (2015). Human language reveals a universal positivity bias. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(8), 2389-2394.
DOI Scopus70 WoS63 Europe PMC17
2014 Mitchell, L., & Carrassi, A. (2014). Accounting for model error due to unresolved scales within ensemble Kalman filtering. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 141(689), 1417-1428.
DOI Scopus6 WoS5
2014 Frank, M., Mitchell, L., Dodds, P., & Danforth, C. (2014). Standing swells surveyed showing surprisingly stable solutions for the Lorenz '96 model. International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, 24(10), 1430027-1-1430027-14.
DOI Scopus6 WoS6
2014 Bellsky, T., Berwald, J., & Mitchell, L. (2014). Nonglobal parameter estimation using local ensemble Kalman filtering. Monthly Weather Review, 142(6), 2150-2164.
DOI Scopus10 WoS9
2013 Frank, M., Mitchell, L., Dodds, P., & Danforth, C. (2013). Happiness and the patterns of life: a study of geolocated tweets. Scientific Reports, 3(1), 2625-1-2625-9.
DOI Scopus57 Europe PMC10
2013 Mitchell, L., Frank, M., Harris, K., Dodds, P., & Danforth, C. (2013). The geography of happiness: connecting twitter sentiment and expression, demographics, and objective characteristics of place. PLoS One, 8(5), e64417-1-e64417-15.
DOI Scopus153 WoS116 Europe PMC37
2013 Mitchell, L., & Gottwald, G. (2013). Controlling model error of underdamped forecast models in sparse observational networks using a variance-limiting Kalman filter. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 139(670), 212-225.
DOI Scopus3 WoS3
2012 Mitchell, L., & Gottwald, G. (2012). On finite-size Lyapunov exponents in multiscale systems. Chaos, 22(2), 023115-1-023115-9.
DOI Scopus3 WoS3
2012 Mitchell, L., & Gottwald, G. (2012). Data assimilation in slow-fast systems using homogenized climate models. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 69(4), 1359-1377.
DOI Scopus21 WoS20
2011 Gottwald, G., Mitchell, L., & Reich, S. (2011). Controlling overestimation of error covariance in ensemble Kalman filters with sparse observations: a variance-limiting Kalman filter. Monthly Weather Review, 139(8), 2650-2667.
DOI Scopus10 WoS9
2011 Zhu, S., & Mitchell, L. (2011). Combined diffraction and radiation of ocean waves around an OWC device. Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computing, 36(1-2), 401-416.
DOI Scopus6
2009 Zhu, S. -P., & Mitchell, L. (2009). Diffraction of ocean waves around a hollow cylindrical shell structure. Wave Motion, 46(1), 78-88.
DOI Scopus16 WoS16

Book Chapters

Year Citation
2017 Mitchell, L. (2017). How the internet knows if you’re happy or sad. In J. Watson (Ed.), The Conversation Yearbook 2017: standout articles from Australia's top thinkers. Melbourne University Press: Melbourne University Press.

Conference Papers

Year Citation
2018 Gray, C., Mitchell, L., & Roughan, M. (2018). Super-blockers and the Effect of Network Structure on Information Cascades. In WWW ’18 Companion: The 2018 Web Conference Companion. Lyon, France.
2018 Mitchell, L., Dent, J., & Ross, J. V. (2018). Mo’ characters mo’ problems: Online social media platform constraints and modes of communication. In Proceedings of the 19th annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AOIR ‘18). Montreal.
2018 Nasim, M., Nguyen, A., Lothian, N., Cope, R., & Mitchell, L. (2018). Real-time Detection of Content Polluters in Partially Observable Twitter Networks.. In P. -A. Champin, F. L. Gandon, M. Lalmas, & P. G. Ipeirotis (Eds.), WWW (Companion Volume) (pp. 1331-1339). ACM.
2017 Bagrow, J., Danforth, C., & Mitchell, L. (2017). Which friends are more popular than you? Contact strength and the friendship paradox in social networks. In Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM '17) (pp. 103-108). Sydney.
2017 Mathews, P., Mitchell, L., Nguyen, G., & Bean, N. (2017). The nature and origin of heavy tails in retweet activity. In Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on the World Wide Web (WWW '17) Companion (pp. 1493-1498). Perth: ACM.
2008 Mitchell, L., & Zhu, S. (2008). Linear diffraction and radiation of surface waves by a hollow suspended cylindrical shell. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering - OMAE Vol. 6 (pp. 579-585). Estoril, PORTUGAL: AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS.

Working Paper

Year Citation
Frank, M. R., Williams, J. R., Mitchell, L., Bagrow, J. P., Dodds, P. S., & Danforth, C. M. (n.d.). Constructing a taxonomy of fine-grained human movement and activity
motifs through social media
Bagrow, J. P., Desu, S., Frank, M. R., Manukyan, N., Mitchell, L., Reagan, A., . . . Bongard, J. C. (n.d.). Shadow networks: Discovering hidden nodes with models of information
Bagrow, J. P., Liu, X., & Mitchell, L. (n.d.). Information flow reveals prediction limits in online social activity.

Internet Publications

Year Citation
2017 Mitchell, L. (2017). Explainer: how the internet knows if you’re happy or sad. The Conversation.
2016 McVernon, J., Ross, J. V., Glass, K., Mitchell, L., Geard, N., & Moss, R. (2016). Computing helps the study of infections on a global and local scale.
2016 Mitchell, L. (2016). How Twitter gives scientists a window into human happiness and health. The Conversation.
  • Data to Decisions CRC Beat The News Project: Predicting common and novel disease outbreaks by assimilating open data into epidemiological models (with A/Prof. Joshua Ross and Prof. Nigel Bean) ($637,606 over 3 years)
  • Data to Decisions CRC Beat The News Project: Predicting civil unrest and election outcomes using Bayesian network models (with Dr. Jonathan Tuke and Prof. Nigel Bean) ($661,261 over 3 years)





  • APPMTH3001 Applied Probability III
  • MATHS2102 Differential Equations II
  • MATHS2104 Numerical Methods II
  • MATHS2102 Differential Equations II
  • MBB Mathematics for Biostatistics (online)
  • MATHS2104 Numerical Methods II
  • MATHS1011 Mathematics 1A (algebra)

Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
2018 Co-Supervisor Applications of Complex Network Analysis for Strategic Decision Making in Australian Rules Football Master of Philosophy Master Part Time Mr Anton Andreacchio
2018 Co-Supervisor Analysing Dynamics of the Illegal Wildlife Trade in Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Adam Toomes
2018 Principal Supervisor Analysis of World War 1 Diaries Using Natural Language Processing Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Ashley Grace Dennis-Henderson
2017 Co-Supervisor Temporal Analysis of Social Networks in Television Series Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Michelle Claire Edwards
2017 Co-Supervisor Early Warning Signals: The Interaction of Social Media With Vaccination and Disease Outbreak Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Dennis Liu
2017 Co-Supervisor Exploring the Link Between Weather Factors and Influenza Dynamics Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Jessica Penfold
2017 Co-Supervisor Modelling Information Cascades: Creating Predictive Models on Temporal Networks Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Caitlin Miranda Gray
2016 Co-Supervisor Trend Detection from Social Media Using Probabilistic Graphical Models Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Peter Mathews
2016 Co-Supervisor A Census of Social Medial Users: Statistical Techniques for Quantifying and Correcting Biases in Big Open Data Sources Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Max Edward Glonek

Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
2016 - 2018 Co-Supervisor A methodology for predictive topic modelling; or, any excuse to watch Love Actually Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Vanessa Grace Glenny

Other Supervision Activities

Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
2016 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Prediction of civil unrest events using Poisson and Hawkes models University of Adelaide Honours Wendy Li
2016 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Information cascades on random networks University of Adelaide Honours Caitlin Gray

Committee Memberships

Date Role Committee Institution Country
2017 - ongoing Member School of Mathematical Sciences Outreach Committee
Lecturer in Applied Mathematics
8313 3696
North Terrace
Ingkarni Wardli, floor 6
Room Number
6 46
Org Unit
Mathematical Sciences