October 13, 2022 | News | Welcome to the MPIDR

Linda Vecgaile is a new Research Scientist at the Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography


Linda Vecgaile is a PhD candidate at the European University Institute in Florence. She is exploring machine learning tools and ways to combine them with individual life course information to answer sociological questions. Rostock reminds her a lot of her home country, Latvia, and especially its capital, Riga.

What question drives you most in your research?

Over the past year, I have been exploring machine learning tools and ways to combine them with individual life course information to answer sociological questions such as demographic change and its impact on labor markets, the family, and various social groups. Since using machine learning can achieve high predictive accuracy, I am particularly interested in using this approach to project social developments at the micro and macro levels. I believe that these projections would provide individuals with more information that would help them make strategically better decisions regarding various life events and their timing, such as starting a family or moving to another job or profession. At the macro level, projections based on life course information would complement existing theories and projections of future social developments, such as rising or dropping fertility rates, as well as provide policy makers with more information when designing and implementing actions aimed at preventing inequalities.

What are you looking forward to as you start working at the MPIDR?

I am very happy to be surrounded by all the brilliant and extremely kind colleagues. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know everyone better. I am also very impressed with the working environment and organization at the MPIDR. Also, I can't wait to explore all the research tools and library resources that are available to us.

What do you like most about Rostock?

It reminds me a lot of my home country, Latvia, and especially its capital, Riga. It feels very familiar here. Both cities have a very similar climate, are very green, are on the shore of the Baltic sea, have a river running past the city, and the city skyline is very similar. Moreover, the people here seem to have similar mindsets and behaviors – they are very polite and friendly with a slight touch of Nordic shyness and mysteriousness that I find charming. These similarities do not surprise me at all, because Riga and Rostock are old Hanseatic cities and have a common history.

What are you obsessed with at the moment besides demography?

At the moment, I'm obsessed with organizing my time to resume my old hobbies like improv theater and learning to play the guitar. Also, I’m very keen to learn German as soon as possible so that I can immerse myself in German culture, go to the theater, and speak with the locals in German.


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The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.