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 (NetSI) at Northeastern University brings faculty, researchers and students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, joined together by our shared passion for networks. The Institute is housed across 3 floors in the 26-story I.M. Pei building at 177 Huntington Ave in the Prudential neighborhood of Boston. Our core community is made up of 80–90 active members, including faculty with academic appointments across departments, in physics, computer science, political science, business, communication, economics, and health sciences.

As a community, our interests span across fields and domain areas – our research involves biological, technological, informational and social systems, and covers diverse areas, such as brain connectivity, subcellular and genomic interactions, infectious disease transmission and preparedness, infrastructural and spatial resiliency, decision making and performance of teams and large collectives, politics and voting patterns, collective action and social justice.

Our research and training programs are motivated by a desire to inspire and contribute to the growing community dedicated to understanding networks by discovering the underlying principles, properties and purpose of their connectivity. Our goal is to create new tools and perspectives that empower all people to better interact with networks, and ultimately improve the sustainability and wellness of our societies.

The Institute is a joint initiative between the College of Social Science and Humanities (CSSH), the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Khoury College of Computer Sciences, and the College of Science.

NetSI houses multiple lab groups led by our core faculty specializing in various focus areas, as well as numerous research teams assembled around specific projects.
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Our research investigates both the fundamental nature of networked systems as well as the applications of these principles to systems found in biological, social, technical, informational and spatial systems. Our research is supported in large part from grants awarded by federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, as well as foundations, and corporations.

Research is motivated by the desire to improve our understanding of complex systems by discovering the underlying principles, properties and purpose of their connectivity. Our major research areas include:

Network forecasting
develop new algorithms and platforms to overcome limitations and biases of big data
Fundamental network science
formalized representations of the geometry of multi-dimensional networks
Network performance
how groups coordinate, seek knowledge, optimize and reach success
Networks for good
how communities use digital platforms to shape opinions, politics and governance
Network epidemiology
modeling spread of disease and risky behaviors through populations
Biological networks
role of cellular and sub-cellular connections in biological function and disease

With the goal of training a new generation of scholars, the Institute has developed the first PhD program in Network Science in the U.S. Our students make up a great part of our community and culture, and keep us deeply engaged in the growth of the field. Our curriculum includes six courses designed to provide the set of core foundational skills to become highly competent modelers and agile thinkers in this field: Introduction to Network Science; Dynamical Systems; Network Data; Social Networks; Bayesian Statistics; and Network Economics.

We are also committed to developing teaching modules for K-12 students, with the vision of providing tools and a framework for educators for the identification and exploration of disciplinary intersections across required curriculum content. Together, we hope these efforts will help train new science scholars with the computational skills and disciplinary depth to become visionary thought leaders, as well as support the efforts to use science of learning and information to improve the depth and quality of education.

The Institute has led major initiatives in played a major role in shaping the identity of the network science that have helped to by leading a number of major initiatives aimed and unify the diverse community

Host international conference, CompleNet2018
Host World Health Organization meeting
Widely attended speaker series