Giovanni Petri is a Professor at the Network Science Institute, Northeastern University London. With a broad background in theoretical physics and applied mathematics, he has successfully applied his expertise to address various research areas, including network science and higher-order systems, dynamical processes, with a particular focus on neuroimaging, computational neuroscience, and, more recently, artificial intelligence.
Alongside these core topics, his research also encompasses the study of group dynamics in social systems, novel methods for parsimonious feature selection, and information-theoretic limits to predicting complex systems. He has collaborated with researchers from diverse disciplines, including mathematicians, physiologists, psychologists, network neuroscientists, epidemiologists, and computer scientists.
Giovanni Petri has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact interdisciplinary journals such as Science, Nature Physics, Physical Review Letters, Nature Communications, Neuroimage, and the Journal of Neuroscience. Major contributions include a review and a perspective on higher-order systems, the topological functional structure of altered brain states, a temporal model of simplicial interactions to describe the effects of group interactions in social spreading processes, a graph-theoretic approach to cognitive control to multitasking capacity, and the discovery of the evolutionarily conserved role of oxytocin for social contagion. He guest-edited a special issue of "Network Neuroscience" dedicated to topological applications in brain networks (in collaboration with Prof. M. Kringelbach and Dr. Paul Expert) and co-edited the book "Higher-order Systems" (with Prof. F. Battiston) for the Springer Nature series "Understanding Complex Systems".
Giovanni Petri obtained his PhD from Imperial College London in 2012 studying the mathematics of complex networks. He then joined ISI Foundation as a postdoctoral researcher working on the topological structure of complex systems. Since 2016, Giovanni Petri has led his own lab, initially as a Senior Research Scientist at ISI Foundation and then as a Principal Researcher at CENTAI Institute.
He mentored and supervised 6 postdocs, 2 PhD students, 2 junior researchers, and 13 MSc and BSc students. Additionally, he leads a working group focused on the topology of learning systems, attracting participants from various research labs and institutions. To fund his research, he has secured both large grants, such as the 3-year ADnD project (Compagnia San Paolo) and the 5-year grant from Project CETI, as well as smaller grants targeting specific objectives.
Beyond his research, Giovanni Petri is committed to open reproducible science, scientific outreach, and public engagement. Together with his group and collaborators, he has developed and distributed a set of open-source tools for topological data analysis (TDA) and modeling (Holes, SCM, DyNeuSR, XGI), aiming to lower the entry barrier to TDA and network inference for scientists from non-mathematical or non-computational disciplines.He has organized multiple workshops, satellite meetings, and conferences to bridge disciplinary gaps and foster collaboration. This includes conducting a TDA crash course at the Applied Machine Learning Days 2019, organizing a series of satellite meetings (TopoNets) at both the NetSci conference and Conference on Complex Systems since 2014, and co-organizing the annual CCS Warm Up school, aimed at young researchers in complex systems, which is still ongoing.
In 2018, he served as a co-organizer of "ATMCS7: Conference on Algebraic Topology: Methods, Computation, and Science".
To enhance public awareness and build communities around scientific topics, he initiated initiatives such as Databeers Torino, which brings together individuals interested in data science through engaging talks and networking events. He has actively participated in other outreach initiatives, including Pint for Science."