My name is Omar Richardson. I am an applied mathematician and data scientist with a PhD in mathematics from Karlstad University. From September 2021, I am part of Simula Consulting as a data scientist. Follow me on my new blog.

Because I think it is important that research is comprehensible and useful to everyone, I aim to make my contributions in science and programming publicly available as much as possible. With this blog, I intend to demonstrate what I am working on in an accessible way.

For a more detailed, non-technical introduction of my research, listen to this podcast.


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  • Omar Richardson
  • Omar Richardson
  • Mathematical modeling

    My research is focused on describing transport and interactions of populations. Simply put, I look at large groups of particles, which can represent anything from pedestrians to molecules, and I try to express their behaviour in mathematical terms. If you are able to represent a situation in formulas or algorithms, it becomes a lot easier to analyse and predict. Most of my work is done in the context of crowd dynamics: the study of people in motion, interacting with each other and their environment. I did some work on evaluating evacuation strategies in buildings and large outdoor scenarios, and making new models that try to capture important elements in evacuation scenarios (like smoke and fire).

    I deal with the numerical analysis of these systems, as well as tackling obstacles in the computationally demanding simulations. From the mathematical formulations I try to build simulations that capture the situations as accurate (and fast) as possible. This involves combining continuum systems with particle systems, which I researched in my MSc project, parallelising computations to increase scalability, and applying multiscale modelling techniques to compartmentalise transport and interaction.

    Computer networks

    Together with dr. Johan Garcia (Karlstad University), I investigated how to find patterns in internet traffic that distinguish regular browsing from activities like streaming or downloading. In order to anticipate high-intensity internet traffic but maintain user privacy, we are developing machine learning methods to identify and predict internet traffic properties from encrypted data streams. This allows internet service providers to anticipate changes in traffic and improve their quality of service. Our latest work, A Novel Flow-level Session Descriptor with Application to OS and Browser Identification has been presented at IEEEs Network and Operation Symposium (NOMS) in April 2020.

    Other projects

    • Part-time research consultant at Simula Research Laboratory (Oslo, Norway), where I do some development and maintenance work on the open-source browser-based programming environment JupyterHub.
    • Visiting research fellow at the University of Sussex (UK), where I work on topics in scientific computing with dr. Omar Lakkis and dr. Chandrasekhar Venkataraman.
    • Freelancer in data engineering and interface building for scientific projects. These jobs range from building web-apps to facilitate gathering and analysing data to processing and visualising large datasets.


    I was born and raised in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. After high school, I moved to Eindhoven for my BSc and MSc degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of Technology Eindhoven. In August 2016, I moved to Karlstad, Sweden to start as a PhD student at Karlstad University in the field of applied mathematics. In May 2021 I defended my PhD (see Publications). In September 2021 I joined Simula Consulting in Oslo, Norway as data scientist.


    Questions, discussions or ideas for new projects are very welcome! You can find my contact details here.