Symposium for the Society of Young Network Scientists

June 20, 2017 // Indianapolis, Indiana

The 1st Symposium for the Society of Young Network Scientists (SYNS) is being organized by Network Science Institute at Northeastern University (NetSI) and Indiana University’s Network Science Institute (IUNI) and is being held at NetSci 2017.  One of the goals of the meeting is to initiate the Society of Young Network Scientists (SYNS).  The meeting will provide the opportunity for students to discuss, explore and design the new society of like-(network science)-minded colleagues. By the end of the meeting, students will have made decisions about how the organization should be run, and identify who will carry out what roles. Our hope is that this meeting will recur annually for years to come, providing an important forum for building a cohesive and diverse community to ensure next generation of network scientists can build the essential collaborative community required for developing solutions for the major problems facing the 21st century workforce.


The goal for this meeting is to help young network science scholars gain both a common foundational training in network science (including approaches, languages, problems), as well as a theoretical and substantive foundation in a particular discipline. The symposium will be designed in a way to facilitate the exchange of information, build community, and establish a core set of faculty and NS advisors and mentors. Our target is to both expand the quality of the cohort, and to build the basis for future collaborations.


If you are a PhD student /young scientist working on network science, and you would like to help planning and organizing the symposium or to be part of SYNS, contact us at


Follow us on twitter: @NetSciPhDs

Welcome to the 1st Annual Consortium for the Society of Young Network Scientists (SYNS)!

Network Science is a diverse field of study that engages students from virtually every disciplinary field. While a few research centers are dedicated to network science, many young scientists often discover the field through deep inquiry in their own discipline. These researchers are often based within a department where they may be the only network scientist in their graduate cohort, or even in their entire graduate department.


This inaugural gathering of the Society of Young Network Scientists (SYNS) will bring together researchers who come from a variety of disciplines but are united by their common interest in network science. These scholars will need to be able to leverage massive data sets, understand scalability of tools, methods, and theories, in order to better understand, predict, influence, and design systems. This founding cohort will be the first in a professional network of transdisciplinary scholars who will serve as a foundation for the next generation of network scientists. Exposure to multiple disciplinary perspectives and diverse frameworks and applications will become critical for our next generation of network science thought leaders.  


By the end of the workshop, students will be familiar with new tools, techniques, methods, and theories, and will be able to identify common themes (and major differences) across applications and disciplines. Importantly, the exchange is expected go well beyond the technical aspects by opening dialogues about courses, advisor and qualifying criteria, fellowship and grant opportunities, and challenges of interdisciplinarity. In the end, we hope this meeting will help to empower these students to be more agile thinkers, both in how they define major scientific challenges and develop inventive solutions for real world problems.

SYNS Satellite: Agenda

Day 1: Monday, June 19th: NetSci 2017 School

Two 3-hour tutorials from leading network scientists.


9:00am-12:00pm | Network Structure

A review of the basics of network science and its purposes, paying attention to both the structural characteristics of real networks (degree distribution, distances, clustering, correlations, etc.) how the structural attributes of real networks (scale-free property, small-world phenomenon, etc.) influence the dynamical behaviors that take place on them.

Location: JW Marriott (room: White River C)
  • Alex Arenas (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)


12:00pm-2:00pm | Lunch 


2:00pm-5:00pm | Contagion and Spreading Processes on Networks

An introduction to the basic theoretical concepts and tools needed for the analysis of dynamical processes taking place on networks. Topics include: navigation/exploration processes of complex networks, epidemic spreading, social contagion, computational modeling approaches to contagion dynamic, and reaction-diffusion processes on networks.

Location: JW Marriott (room: White River C)
  • Alessandro Vespignani (Northeastern University)



Day 2: Tuesday, June 20th: SYNS Symposium

Tutorials, presentations, and discussions between SYNS participants and leading network scientists.

8:30am-9:00am | Welcome & Introductions

Location: JW Marriott (room: White River 107)
  • Kate Coronges (Northeastern University)
  • Patricia Mabry (Indiana University)


9:00am-10:00am | Lightning Presentations I

Student presentations about their work and research interests in informal lighting talks of 2-3 minutes.

Location: JW Marriott (room: White River 107)


10:00am-10:30am | Break


10:30am-11:30am | Lightning Presentations II

Location: JW Marriott (room: White River 107)


11:30am-1:00pm | Lunch 


1:00pm-3:00pm | One Great Idea

Presentations from networks scientists across disciplines about “one great idea” that changed how they analyze data, write papers, approach research broadly, and more. The goal of this session is to help students build a toolkit of research strategies.

Location: JW Marriott (room: White River 107)
  • Albert-László Barabási (Northeastern University)
  • Brooke Foucault Welles (Northeastern University)
  • Bruno Gonçalves (New  York University)
  • Peter J. Mucha (University of North Carolina)


3:00pm-3:30pm | Break


3:30pm-5:30pm | SYNS: One Great Network

Facilitated discussion on the current state of the field, where we think the field will go in the next 10 years, and the role of young network scientists—the SYNS network—in shaping that future.

Location: JW Marriott (room: White River 107)
  • Kevin Chan (Army Research Laboratory)
  • Catherine Cramer (New York Hall of Science)
  • Hiroki Sayama (SUNY Binghamton)
  • Stephen Uzzo (New York Hall of Science)


5:30pm-6:00pm | Break


6:00pm-7:30pm | Professional Development Panel

Informal panel discussion with five leading network scientists, each with unique career paths and research trajectories. This is an opportunity to ask questions to the panel, to discuss their career choices and strategies for working with interdisciplinary teams, and how to do good, collaborative science.

Location: JW Marriott (room: White River C)
  • Danielle Bassett (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Vittoria Colizza (Inserm, French National Institute for Health and Medical Research)
  • Lise Getoor (University of California, Santa Cruz)
  • Roberta Sinatra (Central European University)
  • Alessandro Vespignani (Northeastern University)


8:00pm-10:00pm | Dinner and the Future of SYNS

We will meet for dinner and beverages to decompress after a long day and figure out how we move forward logistically as a group over the coming years.

Location: TBA

NetSci Satellite 

JW Marriott Indianapolis
10 S West St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
[view in Google Maps]

View a list of all NetSci 2017 Satellites here

SYNS Symposium at NetSci2017 Participants: 
Participant bios: 
Mowafak Allaham
1st year, University of Illinois at Chicago
Main interests: social networks, emotion contagion, group dynamics
Mowafak Allaham received his BS in Computer Science in 2013 and his MA in Psychology from George Mason University in 2015 where he worked with Dr. Eva Wiese as a graduate research assistant at the Social Robotics Lab. Prior to joining the Empathy & Social Connection Lab as a PhD candidate, he worked with Dr. Bertram Malle and Dr. Joseph Austerweil at Brown University as a researcher to explore the cognitive representation of social norms. Currently, Mowafak is focusing on using different computational techniques drawn from graph theory and network science to understand the different properties of social networks from a psychological perspective.
Emorie Beck
1st year, Washington University at St. Louis
Main interests: personality psychology, development, dynamics, networks
Emorie D Beck (@EmorieBeck) is a Ph.D student in personality psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, where she just completed her first year. Emorie graduated from Brown University with honors in psychology in 2016. She studies the measurement and development of personality, both at the population and individual levels. She is interested in better understanding the mechanisms behind personality (e.g. patterns of affect, behaviors, and cognitions) that give rise to the stable patterns we call personality traits. Emorie is currently using network science to better understand temporal patterns in affect, behavior, and cognition across different people, times, and contexts. Moreover, she is interested in how we can use knowledge of such mechanisms to create interventions that allow people to volitionally change their personalities.
Nichol Castro
5th year, University of Kansas
Main interests: language networks, memory, psycholinguistics
I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Kansas pursuing a Dual-title PhD in (Cognitive) Psychology and Gerontology with a Quantitative Minor. I received my MA in (Cognitive) Psychology in 2013 from the University of Kansas and my BA in Psychology with a Cognitive Science Minor in 2011 from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. I have an interdisciplinary background that includes psychology, gerontology, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, and speech-language pathology.
Larisa Doroshenko
5th year, University of Wisconsin Madison
Main interests: political communication, media effects, political behavior, online participation, social media, connective action, collective action, election campaigns, social movements, far-right parties, comparative analysis, computer-mediated content analysis, online experiments, survey studies, Ukraine, Twitter
My research interests focus on political communication, civic engagement, polarization, and public opinion. I am especially interested in democratic potential of new media and how the internet affects political participation. My dissertation projects explores digital mobilizing strategies of Ukrainian political parties during EuroMaidan revolution and following early elections, these parties’ digital networks, as well as effectiveness of these strategies among citizens with regards to both online and offline participation.
Esra Erdin
5th year, University of Nevada, Reno
Main interests: online social networks, privacy, decentralized OSN
Esra Erdin is a PhD candidate at Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Nevada, Reno. She received her BS degree in Computer Engineering from Middle East Technical University and her MS degree in Computer Science and Engineering from University of Nevada, Reno. Her area of research is in computer networks, with a focus on social networks, network measurements, design of decentralized online social networks, device-to-device communication, and anonymous communication networks. For her Ph.D. dissertation, she focuses on understanding of social network dynamics and development of phone-to-phone decentralized social networks to address privacy concerns.
Ryan Gallagher
1st year, Northeastern University
Main interests: social networks, core-periphery, topic models, natural language processing
I am a young graduate researcher who has made the laborious, yet rewarding, transition from theoretical mathematics to computational social science. This transition started at the University of Connecticut and continued at the University of Vermont, where I received a Master's degree in applied mathematics and complex systems. In Fall 2017, I will be joining Northeastern University's Network Science PhD program. Broadly, my research focuses on quantifying the stories that emerge from sociotechnical systems. More specifically, I work to intertwine techniques from network science and natural language processing in order to study the interplay between language and social interactions. In studying both what people are talking about and how that relates to their social network, I hope to draw deeper insights into topics such as hashtag activism, collective identity, and mental health.
Isha Ghosh
1st year, Rutgers University
Main interests: persuasive technology, privacy attitudes, social influence
I am a first-year doctoral student at the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University with research interests in analyzing the influence of online social networks on an individuals’ information sharing habits. My work lies at the intersection of behavioral analytics and network science, I am very interested in studying the role of social influence on digital privacy attitudes and behaviors.
Diego Gómez-Zará
1st year, Northwestern University
Main interests: social networks, social movements, social media, leadership, data visualization
I'm interested in mathematical models that explain social behavior, communications, and networks. My goal is to set bridges between social sciences and computer science. I've been working on projects related to social movements, leadership, and journalism.
Syed Arefinul Haque
2nd year, Northeastern University
Main interests: epidemiology, human dynamics, trust
I am a second year PhD student in the Network Science PhD program at Northeastern University and working as a research assistant at the MOBS Lab. My research interest lies in the study of complex networks, human dynamics and computational social science.
Milán Janosov
1st year, Central European University
Main interests: success, career evolution, science, art, big data, mechanistic modelling
Being late from pub crawls with friends because of working on my science projects has been a great struggle to me since I have started visiting pubs. Starting with maths in high school, then physics and biophysics, after that complexity research and software development, I arrived to network science, data science and computational social science. I am always interested in new things focusing on the practical aspects. I also fancy quite different hobbies, like sculpting, going to the gym and constantly annoying my friends with my meal plans, or scuba diving.
Brennan Klein
2nd year, Northeastern University
Main interests: decision making, search, information
Brennan received his BA in Cognitive Science and Psychology from Swarthmore College in 2014, focusing on the relationship between perception, action, and cognition. Currently, in his work with Professor Chris Riedl, he is researching human decision making, complex problem solving, and group behavior. This primarily involves running online experiments with human participants, as well as simulations of human behavior through agent-based modeling.
Tim LaRock
1st year, Northeastern University
Main interests: science of science, brain networks, network sampling
I have previously studied information retrieval from Twitter,  mining of wireless frequency spectrum data, load balancing in cellular networks and measures of group centrality in large networks. Currently, I work on developing machine learning algorithms for growing incomplete networks through adaptive node probing. I am interested in mining network data broadly, particularly thinking about higher order structures in networks with applications to global shipping networks, networks in the science of science as well as network neuroscience. Outside of my academic research, I also have interest in philosophy, politics and literature.
Jennifer Lawlor
5th year, Michigan State University
Main interests: community coalitions, systems change efforts, education, social networks, simulation modeling
I'm a 5th year PhD student in Michigan State University's ecological-community psychology program. As a researcher, I'm interested in network structures in community coalitions and their implications for things like efficient communication among members as well as the relationship between a node's position in a coalition network and their experience of efficacy related to their goals for the network. I also work with the Michigan School Program Information Project, examining the role of social networks in the research to practice gap. As a person, I enjoy running, playing the ukulele, and baking.
Stefan McCabe
1st year, Northeastern University
Main interests: social media, social networks, agent-based modeling, status, communication
Stefan received a BA in Government and International Politics and an MA in Computational Social Science from George Mason University. His prior research includes work on agent-based economics and optimizing agent-based models in high-performance computing environments. His research interests include political communication, social media, the intersection of network science and agent-based modeling, and natural language processing.
Madhurima Nath
4th year, Virginia Tech
Main interests: network reliability, epidemic modeling, network structure
My research areas include applying physics models and using computational methods to solve empirical problems of complex networks. The computational complexity of analyzing dynamics on such complex systems scales with system size and therefore modeling them using simpler networks with similar behavior is relevant for the analysis. In addition, I have also been studying the effects of the network topology of realistic socio - technical systems; I study the dynamics of diffusive processes on networks such as propagation of diseases by investigating how reliable a graph is. Using this method, it is possible to approximate and characterize the reliability of a network.
Ravin Poudel
4th year, University of Florida
Main interests: microbial community, microbial network
I am currently a 4th year graduate student in the Department of Plant Pathology, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, and Emerging Pathogens Institute, at the University of Florida. As a researcher, I am interested in understanding the communication and social network of microbes. I build and apply network models to better understand the roles on microbes, as a community, in determining the host performances such as in disease or healthy states.
Iacopo Pozzana
1st year, Birkbeck, University of London
Main interests: community detection, meta-heuristics, temporal evolution
I got my Masters in Physics from the University of Pisa, Italy, last September, after which I moved to London to start a PhD at Birkbeck Computer Science. During the Master I worked on a new model of temporal activity-driven network, with a focus on its impact on dynamical processes. Now my research focuses on improving community detection methods by using information regarding the temporal structure of the network, with a particular applicative focus on online social networks.
Ronald Robertson
1st year, Northeastern University
Main interests: algorithm auditing, attitude and behavior change, persuasive technology, communication networks
I conduct research on how modern information and communication technologies can induce attitude and behavior change by leveraging our psychological heuristics and vulnerabilities. When I'm not conducting research I like surfing, crashing motorcycles, and playing guitar.
Tim Sakharov
Incoming PhD student, Northeastern University
Main interests: graph mining, machine learning
Tim is interested in the application of machine learning and data mining methods to network science.  He is currently working on mitigating network incompleteness through intelligent node querying.  He has a B.S. in Information Science from Northeastern University, and will be joining Northeastern's Network Science Institute as a Ph.D. student this Fall.
Alice Schwarze
3rd year, Oxford University
Main interests: network robustness, sampling, systems biology, systems pharmacology
I am a PhD student at the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University and the Oxford University Doctoral Training Centre for Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science. This year, I am also a visiting graduate researcher at UCLA.  My work focuses on the structural robustness of protein-interaction networks. I am passionate about maths, natural sciences, travelling, and my ukulele.
Sarah Shugars
2nd year, Northeastern University
Main interests: civil society, dialogue, deliberation
Sarah received her BA in Physics from Clark University, where she graduated Cum Laude in 2004. She received her MA in Integrated Marketing Communications from  Emerson College in 2009, and participated in Tisch College's Summer Institute of Civic Studies in 2013. An active member of the Somerville, MA community, Sarah serves as clerk of The Welcome Project board and on the board of the OPENAIR Circus. Sarah is interested in applying network science to questions of civil society and political deliberation.
Cynthia Siew
5th year, University of Kansas
Main interests: speech perception, spoken word recognition, visual word recognition, lexical processing, word learning, language acquisition, language evolution
I use behavioral and computational methods to investigate the cognitive processes and mechanisms that support lexical processing. In particular I apply the suite of tools offered by network science to study the structure of the mental lexicon and see how that affects the way we produce speech, understand language and learn new words. I am also interested in applying network science approaches to understand other areas of the psychological and cognitive sciences.
Kyosuke Tanaka
2nd year, Northwestern University
Main interests: network perceptions, network search, network activation, social capital, small-world phenomenon
My research interests lie in network thinking and cognition. I'm interested in understanding how individuals perceive, search and use their surrounded connections and connections of connections. To examine the research question, I use network experiments, agent-based modeling, and statistical analysis.
Leo Torres
1st year, Northeastern University
Main interests: graph mining, math, neuroscience
Leo is interested in the intersection of Network Science, Complexity Science, and Neuroscience. By using different approaches from Computer Science, like graph mining and machine learning, he is trying to uncover the underlying principles governing the interplay between structure and function of dynamical networks. Leo has a B.S in Mathematics from a top-rated Peruvian Mathematics department, and is a self-taught programmer, having attended the Recurse Center, a programmers retreat in NYC, to focus on algorithm design and high-quality code writing standards.
Xindi Wang
2nd year, Northeastern University
Main interests: success, book networks, data mining
I am a person likes a lot of things, especially music and books. My background was in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science. As a researcher, I'm mostly interested in the pattern behind success. My work focuses on data mining and analysis as well as modeling.
Sara Williams
2nd year, Northeastern University
Main interests: ecological networks, coral reefs, eco-physiology, mutualism
Sara is a PhD student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology degree program. She earned her B.S. in physics with honors from the College of William and Mary in 2014. Sara's dissertation research involves using network science to study coral reefs. She is working on modeling how the coral-symbiont mutualism network responds to increasing temperatures due to global climate change.
Chia-Hung Yang
1st year, Northeastern University
Main interests: food webs, dynamics, complex systems, Laplace distribution
I obtained my bachelor's degree in physics at National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan and am currently a PhD student of Network Science at Northeastern University. I am interested in the dynamical behavior of complex systems and what are the underlying mechanisms. The ultimate goal is to "engineer" those complex systems for purposes based on our theoretical understandings. Among various subjects in complex systems, ecosystems remain mysterious despite its early debut, and the inherent networks specifying interactions between species caught my attention. I study how food web structures form from a general natural selection perspective and whether they coincide with popular models. I also work on a project exploring the genetic mechanism of wide-observed Laplace-distributed growth rates in reality.
Yian Yin
1st year, Northwestern University
Main interests: computational social science, complex systems, science of science
I am a first-year PhD student of Industrial Engineering & Management Sciences (IEMS) at McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University, with affiliations at Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO). My research interest lies in the boundary of data mining, complex systems and computational social science, with a focus on understanding successes and failures in individual career from large-scale datasets. I am also interested in applying network science models to understand the temporal evolution of science and technology.
One Great Idea session

Lazlo Barabasi

Albert-László Barabási is the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and a Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University, where he directs the Center for Complex Network Research, and holds appointments in the Departments of Physics and College of Computer and Information Science, as well as in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Womens Hospital in the Channing Division of Network Science, and is a member of the Center for Cancer Systems Biology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. A Hungarian born native of Transylvania, Romania, he received his Masters in Theoretical Physics at the Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary and was awarded a Ph.D. three years later at Boston University. Barabási latest book is Network Science (Cambridge University Press, 2016). He has also authored "Linked: The New Science of Networks" (Perseus, 2002), currently available in fifteen languages, "Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do" (Dutton, 2010) available in five languages, and is the co-editor of "The Structure and Dynamics of Networks" (Princeton, 2005). His work lead to the discovery of scale-free networks in 1999, and proposed the Barabási-Albert model to explain their widespread emergence in natural, technological and social systems, from the cellular telephone to the WWW or online communities.



Bruno Gonçalves

Bruno Gonçalves is a Data Science fellow at NYU's Center for Data Science while on leave from a tenured faculty position at Aix-Marseille Université. He has a strong expertise in using large scale datasets for the analysis of human behavior. After completing his joint PhD in Physics, MSc in C.S. at Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 2008 he joined the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research at Indiana University as a Research Associate. From September 2011 until August 2012 he was an Associate Research Scientist at the Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Technical Systems at Northeastern University. Since 2008 he has been pursuing the use of Data Science and Machine Learning to study human behavior. By processing and analyzing large datasets from Twitter, Wikipedia, web access logs, and Yahoo! Meme he studied how we can observe both large scale and individual human behavior in an obtrusive and widespread manner. The main applications have been to the study of Computational Linguistics, Information Diffusion, Behavioral Change and Epidemic Spreading. He is the author of 60+ publications with over 5100+ Google Scholar citations and an h-index of 29. In 2015 he was awarded the Complex Systems Society's 2015 Junior Scientific Award for "outstanding contributions in Complex Systems Science" and he is the editor of the book Social Phenomena: From Data Analysis to Models (Springer, 2015).



Peter J. Mucha

Peter J. Mucha is a Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He grew up in Minnesota and moved east to attend college at Cornell University where he majored in Engineering Physics. After taking a Churchill Scholarship to study in the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge with an M.Phil. in Physics, he returned to the States to continue his studies at Princeton with an M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied and Computational Mathematics. Following a postdoctoral instructorship in applied mathematics at MIT, and a tenure-track assistant professorship in Mathematics at Georgia Tech, he moved to Chapel Hill to join the Department of Mathematics and the Institute for Advanced Materials (now the new Department of Applied Physical Sciences) at UNC.  Currently, he is a professor in these two departments (and former Chair of both), affiliated with the Duke Network Analysis Center, and the Director of the Chairs Leadership Program at UNC.  Mucha's research group embraces an interdisciplinary approach to data science focused on networks and network representations, using mathematical models and statistical principles to develop and apply computational tools for the study of real-world data, working in close collaboration with domain science experts.



Brooke Foucault Welles

Brooke Foucault Welles is an Assistant Professor in the department of Communication Studies and a faculty affiliate of the Network Science Institute and NU Lab for Texts, Maps and Networks at Northeastern University.  Dr. Foucault Welles studies how social networks shape and constrain human behavior, with a particular emphasis on how the recall and activation of network ties influences success in personal and team goals. In the past, Dr. Foucault Welles has examined how social networks influence friendship selection in online communities. More recently, her work focuses on how people come to recognize resources within their social networks and leverage them to achieve personal, organizational, and social goals. Dr. Foucault Welles teaches classes in social science research methods, children and media, and social network analysis. Prior to joining the faculty at Northeastern University, Dr. Foucault Welles earned her Ph.D. from the department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. She also holds BA and MS degrees in Communication Studies and Information Science from Cornell University.Twitter: @foucaultwellesSource:


One Great Network session

Kevin Chan

Kevin Chan is research scientist with the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (Adelphi, MD). His research interests are in network science and distributed processing to study the complex operating environment of US DoD research problems. Dr. Chan has also recently been involved in research on opinion dynamics, dynamic networks, trust, distributed decision making, and quality of information. He has been an active researcher in ARL’s collaborative programs, the Network Science Collaborative Technology Alliance, Network and Information Sciences (NIS) International Technology Alliance and the Distributed Analytics and Information Science (DAIS) International Technology Alliance. He has been a member of several NATO panels (SAS-085, SAS-104, IST-150), where he has applied a network science concepts to Command & Control Agility. Prior to ARL, he received a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and MSECE from Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA. He also received a BS in ECE/Engineering & Public Policy (EPP) from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA).



Catherine Cramer

Catherine Cramer is Senior Project Developer at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) in Queens, NY. She is a passionate science educator and outreach specialist with over 20 years experience in developing and managing collaborative projects, and mentoring and designing curriculum for students, teachers and the general public. Her particular areas of interest include network and big data literacy; Smart Cities; ocean literacy and resilience strategies; embodied cognition; design-based learning; digital humanities and computational thinking; and culture and computational processes.

Current and recent projects include NetSci High, which brought together network science grad students with high-needs high school students from Title 1 schools to complete year-long network science research projects; Big Data for Little Kids; Mobile City Science; Big Data Literacy Workshop; Big Data Fest; and Queens 20/20, a multi-faceted program of work taking place in the Corona, Queens neighborhood that engages children and their families, develops resources for teachers and students in schools, builds afterschool opportunities that respond to community needs, and supports meaningful STEM learning opportunities for high school and college students. She is an active member in the Network Science in Education community, contributing to Network Literacy: Essential Concepts and Core Ideas; the annual NetSciEd symposium; and several publications.


Hiroki Sayama

Hiroki Sayama is an Associate Professor in the Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering, and the Director of the Center for Collective Dynamics of Complex Systems (CoCo), at Binghamton University, State University of New York. He received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and D.Sc. in Information Science, all from the University of Tokyo, Japan. His research interests include complex dynamical networks, human and social dynamics, collective behaviors, artificial life/chemistry, and interactive systems, among others. He is an expert of mathematical/computational modeling and analysis of various complex systems. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings papers, has written a free online textbook Introduction to the Modeling and Analysis of Complex Systems, and has edited nine books and conference proceedings about complex systems related topics. He currently serves as an elected Council member and an Executive Committee member of the Complex Systems Society (CSS), an Associate Editor of Artificial Life (MIT Press), and as an editorial board member for Complex Adaptive Systems Modeling (SpringerOpen), International Journal of Parallel, Emergent and Distributed Systems (Taylor & Francis), Applied Network Science (SpringerOpen), and Complex & Intelligent Systems (SpringerOpen).



Stephen Uzzo

As chief scientist for the New York Hall of Science and adjunct professor at NYIT, Stephen Uzzo develops and leads large-scale initiatives to integrate cutting-edge science and technology into teaching and learning, and teaches courses in STEM learning at NYIT. He currently leads initiatives to build communities of practice and improve literacy of the public in complexity and data driven science and engineering. His dissemination activities include organizing international conferences and symposia and speaking at six to 10 major conferences per year. His background includes over 20 years of professional experience in teaching, learning, and research in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and prior to that, 10 years in video and computer graphics systems engineering. Uzzo’s research interests include complex networks, teaching and learning of data-driven STEM, and the impact of big data on teaching and learning; his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and a variety of private foundations and corporations. He holds a terminal degree in network theory and environmental studies from the Union Institute and serves on a number of advisory boards for institutions related to his interests. Having never lived very far from the ocean in New York and California, Uzzo has also been a lifelong advocate for marine conservation.




Professional Development Panel

Danielle S. Bassett

Danielle S. Bassett is the Eduardo D. Glandt Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She is most well-known for her work blending neural and systems engineering to identify fundamental mechanisms of cognition and disease in human brain networks. She received a B.S. in physics from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cambridge, UK. Following a postdoctoral position at UC Santa Barbara, she was a Junior Research Fellow at the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind. In 2012, she was named American Psychological Association's `Rising Star' and given an Alumni Achievement Award from the Schreyer Honors College at Pennsylvania State University for extraordinary achievement under the age of 35. In 2014, she was named an Alfred P Sloan Research Fellow and received the MacArthur Fellow Genius Grant. In 2015, she received the IEEE EMBS Early Academic Achievement Award, and was named an ONR Young Investigator. In 2016, she received an NSF CAREER award and was named one of Popular Science’s Brilliant 10. She is the founding director of the Penn Network Visualization Program, a combined undergraduate art internship and K-12 outreach program bridging network science and the visual arts. Her work -- which has resulted in 112 published articles -- has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Army Research Office, the Army Research Laboratory, the Alfred P Sloan Foundation, the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research.


Vittoria Colizza

Vittoria Colizza completed her undergraduate studies in Physics at the University of Rome Sapienza, Italy, in 2001 and received her PhD in Statistical and Biological Physics at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, in 2004. She spent 3 years at the Indiana University School of Informatics in Bloomington, IN, USA, first as a post-doc and then as a Visiting Assistant Professor. In 2007 she joined the ISI Foundation in Turin, Italy, where she started a new lab after being awarded a Starting Independent Career Grant in Life Sciences by the European Research Council Ideas Program (more info on the EpiFor project webpage). In 2011 Vittoria joined the Inserm (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) in Paris where she now leads the EPIcx lab working on the characterization and modeling of the spread of emerging infectious diseases, by integrating methods of complex systems with statistical physics approaches, computational sciences, geographic information systems, and mathematical epidemiology. Vittoria received the Young Talent Award by the Italian Ministry of Youth in 2010, the Prix Louis-Daniel Beauperthuy 2012 (Human biology & Medical sciences) by the French Academy of Sciences, the Young Scientist Award for Socio-Econophysics in 2013. She serves since 2011 as the Young Advisor to the Vice President of the European Commission Mrs. Neelie Kroes for the new Digital Agenda for Europe.


Lise Getoor

Lise Getoor is a professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Her research areas include machine learning, data integration and reasoning under uncertainty, with an emphasis on graph and network data. She has over 200 publications and extensive experience with machine learning and probabilistic modeling methods for graph and network data. She is a Fellow of the Association for Artificial Intelligence, an elected board member of the International Machine Learning Society, serves on the board of the Computing Research Association (CRA), and was co-chair for ICML 2011.  She is a recipient of an NSF Career Award and ten best paper and best student paper awards.  She received her PhD from Stanford University in 2001, her MS from UC Berkeley, and her BS from UC Santa Barbara, and was a professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Maryland, College Park from 2001-2013.


Roberta Sinatra

Roberta Sinatra is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Network Science and at the Department of Mathematics, at the Central European University at Budapest, Hungary, and a visiting Faculty at the Network Science Institute, Northeastern University (Boston, MA, USA). She is a theoretical physicist by training, working at the forefront of network and data science, developing novel theoretical methods and analyzing empirical data sets on social phenomena and human behavior. Her research projects span topics as diverse as random walks and human mobility on networks, to quantifying human behavior during cooperative games by EEG measurements. Currently, she spends particular attention on the analysis and the modeling of information and dynamics that lead to the collective phenomenon of success.


To add:


Alessandro Vespignani

Alex Vespignani is the Director of the Network Science Institute and Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor with interdisciplinary appointments in the College of Computer and Information Science, College of Science and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Vespignani received his undergraduate degree and Ph.D., both in physics and both from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” in 1990 and 1994 respectively. He completed his postdoctoral research at Yale University and Leiden University. Vespignani worked at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (UNESCO) in Trieste and at the University of Paris-Sud in France as a member of the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) before moving to Indiana University in 2004. Before joining Northeastern University Vespignani was J.H.Rudy Professor of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University and serving as the Director of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research and the Associate Director of the Pervasive Technology Institute. Vespignani is elected fellow of the American Physical Society, member of the Academy of Europe, and fellow of the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University. He is serving in the board/leadership of a variety of professional association and journals and the Institute for Scientific Interchange Foundation. Vespignani has worked in a number of areas of non-equilibrium particle systems, statistical physics and computational sciences.  Recently Vespignani’s research activity focuses on the interdisciplinary application of statistical and numerical simulation methods in the analysis of epidemic and spreading phenomena and the study of biological, social and technological networks. Vespignani has published 140+ peer reviewed papers in top rated scientific journals, including Nature, Science and PNAS that have accrued more than  29,000 citations according to the Google Scholar database. He is author, together with Romualdo Pastor-Satorras, of the book Evolution and Structure of the Internet. Together with Alain Barrat and Marc Barthelemy he has published in 2008 the monograph Dynamical Processes on Complex Networks.



A social event will be scheduled in the evening that will be open to all graduate students and young scholars.

The implementation of this symposium is built on a partnership between Northeastern University and Indiana University.  Over the last few years, both Universities have invested significantly into Network Science, resulting in one of the first PhD minor (since 2014, at IU), and the first U.S. based PhD program (at NU since 2013) in Network Science. We hope to extend this PhD Student community to many other Universities across the globe.


Kate Coronges, Northeastern University 
Patricia Mabry, Indiana University 
Evangelia (Evelyn) Panagakou, Northeastern University
Brooke Foucault Welles, Northeastern University

Student Organizers 

Brennan Klein, Northeastern University
Sarah Shugars, Northeastern University 
Leonardo Torres, Northeastern University

Kate Coronges, Northeastern University

Dr. Coronges is the Executive Director of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University.  In this position, she provides administrative leadership to the institute by contributing to long-term strategic planning and vision for its role in the larger scientific community. She joined the Institute in April 2015. Before that, she worked for the US Army for over six years as Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the US Military Academy, and more recently as a Program Manager in the Information Science Directorate at the Army Research Office. She received her PhD in health behavior from the University of Southern California in 2009. Coronges was the Managing Editor for Connections journal, International Network of Social Network Analysis for a decade. Her research has focused on social structures and dynamics of teams and communities and their impacts on communication patterns, behaviors and performance.

Patricia Mabry, Indiana University

Dr. Mabry is the Executive Director of the Indiana University Network Science Institute (IUNI) and is a Senior Research Scientist in the IU-Bloomington School of Public Health. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, educational offerings, methodological innovation, theoretical development, and provision of supercomputing and IT resources, IUNI nurtures 21st century network science among over 150 affiliated IU faculty. Prior to joining IU in October of 2015, Dr. Mabry had a 15-year career at the National Institutes of Health serving in the National Cancer Institute’s Tobacco Control Research Branch, the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and the Office of Disease Prevention (ODP). At NIH Dr. Mabry established and led a systems science program in the behavioral and social sciences and served on the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Executive Committee. She also led ODP’s portfolio analysis tool development team. Her expertise spans obesity, tobacco control, diabetes, mood disorders, systems science, scientific rigor, and big data. Her work has been published in Science, the American Journal of Public Health, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, and PLoS Computational Biology. Dr. Mabry is a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and was a 2008 recipient the Applied Systems Thinking Prize. Dr. Mabry holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia.

Evangelia (Evelyn) Panagakou, Northeastern University

Evelyn is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the MOBS (Modeling of Biological and Socio-technical Systems) Laboratory of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University. Previously she was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Nonlinear Dynamics Group at Brandeis University. She received her PhD in Physics from the University of Athens in collaboration with the National Center for Scientific Research "Demokritos" in Greece, her MS in Applied Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and her BS in Physics from the University of Athens in Greece. She has been one of the founders of the Young Researchers Network on Complex Systems and the Chair of its Advisory Board from Oct 2013 to Oct 2015. She has co-organized many satellites, workshops and schools on Complex Systems and is greatly interested in the education of complex systems and network science.

Brooke Foucault Welles, Northeastern University

Dr. Foucault Welles is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and core faculty member of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University. Combining the methods of network science with theories from the social sciences, Foucault Welles studies how online communication networks enable and constrain behavior, with particular emphasis on how these networks facilitate the pursuit of individual, team, and collective goals. Much of her work is interdisciplinary and collaborative, with co-authors from computer science, political science, digital humanities, design, and public health. Her recent contributions include a series of studies of the transformative power of networked counterpublicstechniques for the longitudinal analysis of communication networks using event-based network analysis, and guidelines for the effective use of network visualizations in scientific and lay publications. Her work is funded by grants from the US Army Research Office and US Army Research Lab, and has been featured in leading social science journals such as the Journal of CommunicationInformation, Communication and Societyand The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Web Science and was part of the team that developed the Network Literacy Essential Concepts and Core Ideas. Dr. Foucault Welles holds a Ph.D. in Communication from Northwestern University. 

Brennan Klein, Northeastern University

Brennan is a 2nd year PhD student in Network Science at Northeastern University. He received his BA in Cognitive Science and Psychology from Swarthmore College in 2014, focusing on the relationship between perception, action, and cognition. Currently, in his work with Professor Chris Riedl, he studies human decision making, complex problem solving, and group behavior. This primarily involves running online experiments with human participants, as well as simulations of collective human behavior using agent-based modeling. Brennan likes to draw. | @jkbren

Sarah Shugars, Northeastern University

Sarah received her BA in Physics from Clark University, where she graduated Cum Laude in 2004. She received her MA in Integrated Marketing Communications from  Emerson College in 2009, and participated in Tisch College's Summer Institute of Civic Studies in 2013. An active member of the Somerville, MA community, Sarah serves as clerk of The Welcome Project board and on the board of the OPENAIR Circus. Sarah is interested in applying network science to questions of civil society and political deliberation. | @shugars

 Leonardo Torres, Northeastern University

Leo is interested in the intersection of Network Science, Complexity Science, and Neuroscience. By using different approaches from Computer Science, like graph mining and machine learning, he is trying to uncover the underlying principles governing the interplay between structure and function of dynamical networks. Leo has a B.S in Mathematics from a top-rated Peruvian Mathematics department, and is a self-taught programmer, having attended the Recurse Center, a programmer retreat in NYC, to focus on algorithm design and high-quality code writing standards. | @leorrot

We are no longer accepting applications.

We welcome applications from PhD students from any department who are interested in applying network science based tools, theories, and methodologies. We anticipate enough funding to admit 20 applicants, with scholarships that will cover the costs of the workshop attendance, lodging, and reduced registration fee at the NetSci2017 Conference.

The deadline to apply is March 15, 2017.

Participant Selection

Participant selection will be based on the quality of the student’s application and the overall relevance of their research interests. We are not looking for a specific “type” of applicant-- instead we are looking for applicants who have diverse interests, who are from many disciplinary backgrounds, and who have unique sets of skills. In addition, we will evaluate how well-aligned the goals of the symposium are to the student’s interests and research trajectories. Our hope is to facilitate the creation of a cohesive and complementary graduate student community.


We invite you to join us with an open mind to learn from and teach your future peers various concepts, coding skills, and tools.  We are hoping to have a teach-and-learn session where attendees share skills for ~20 minutes with one another. In addition, we will ask participants to present 5-minute lightning talks on their current research interests. For students with more developed research trajectories, we anticipate being able to offer space at a poster session (please indicate on your application if this applies to you).

There are NetSci2017 student scholarship awards available (learn more here).

2017 Symposium application

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