About the Institute
Working to discover and inspire fundamentally new ways to measure, model, predict and visualize meaningful interactions and interconnectivity of social, physical and technological systems; explore their universality and predictability; and inform intervention strategies to improve health and security of human populations.
The Network Science Institute at Northeastern University brings together innovative research teams in a shared lab space that is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. Institute research integrates models, theories and problem solving approaches across disciplines with the shared goal to understand systems by discovering the underlying principles, properties and purpose of its connectivity. From this nexus of cross-domain exchanges, our team has a strong track record developing unconventional strategies to help solve some of the most complex problems that range from biological, social and geospatial systems, to cyber, wireless, and technological challenges.
Research conducted in the institute covers fundamental mathematical and theoretical discoveries about networks, including geometry of networks, representation and manipulation of multi-dimensional networks. While domain-specific inquiries have provided novel insights on brain functions, disease processes, disease spread through populations, predictions of emerging scientific innovations and breakthroughs, group learning and consensus, and political movements. The Institute is comprised of three foundational components:
Information technology infrastructure
The institute is dedicated to building secure high performance computing power to analyze datasets at a massive scale. Data infrastructure includes development of a library of high-integrity discipline-specific datasets through partnerships with non-profit, federal and corporate organizations, to include curation of theoretical, population-based surveillance, social media, senor and other digital data, as well as data from lab, field and virtual experimental settings.
Inquiry-Driven Research Projects
Topics under investigation are considered from both basic and applied scientific perspectives; and are motivated by the need for tools and frameworks capable of addressing challenges of multi-dimension-, scale-, and generalize-ability; and for discovery of fundamental truths to explain complex social, physical, spatial and technical phenomena. Projects can be categorized as: (i) mathematical and theoretical foundations of dynamical multilayer networks; and (ii) behavior of domain specific networks, including: social influence and diffusion; social behavior modeling; biological systems; control & resilience.
Network Science Education and Outreach
With the goal of training a new generation of scholars to use interdisciplinary approaches, the Institute has developed the first PhD program in Network Science in the US. Courses and workshops are being developed for graduate, undergraduate, and k-12 students, as well as for government and industry partners. These courses will help train the next generation of network science scholars with the computational skills and depth of disciplinary knowledge to become visionary thought leaders. In addition, these outreach efforts will contribute to the culture of open academic collaboration and inquiry; and inspire a community dedicated to fundamentally changing the way society understands and interacts with our networked world.