Jonathan Januar


Missing data mechanisms in covert networks


Yoshihisa Kashima, Johan Koskinen, Colin Gallagher

School/Faculty: Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

PhD Details

People who want to hide potentially illegal activities, for some reason, do not want to fill out comprehensive surveys asking them to divulge all their secrets. Information about these secretive individuals and their co-conspirators is then often obtained through indirect means (e.g., police records, surveillance footage, wiretap transcripts). However, constructing their covert social network through these indirect means can incur different kinds of observational biases which then makes it more likely for certain data points to be missing. My PhD investigates statistical approaches to addressing the mechanisms by which missing data can occur in covert networks.

Q & A

Why did you decide to do a PhD?...

Near the end of my undergraduate at Melbourne, I got really interested in statistics and its complicated relationship with science. I had a few too many unanswered questions about the different kinds of questions that can be addressed with statistical approaches, so I continued onwards to an Honours degree. During the Honours degree, I was lucky enough to be supervised by Johan who introduced me to the world of social network research. I found the research process enjoyable and thought I could fuel my addiction to less conventional statistical methodology, so I continued to work and learn with him.

What do you enjoy reading?
While starting the PhD has certainly affected the frequency of my finishing of books, I enjoy reading books about history, statistics, and science. Bonus points if it’s a book about the history of statistics and its role in science. I also occasionally enjoy checking out various cookbooks, especially dessert cookbooks, to pick and choose my next baking adventure!

What do you enjoy doing when you're not working on your PhD?
I like baking complicated pastries, going rock climbing and/or hiking, playing video games, and occasionally checking out gigs or musicals.

Name one fun fact about you.
I index the months in which certain pieces of work were performed by the most memorable baked goods I made that month.

Work and Publications