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Core Faculty

Luis Amaral (Co-director)

Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Professor of Medicine
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-491-7850

Professor Amaral conducts and directs research that provides insight into the emergence, evolution, and stability of complex social and biological systems.

Brian Uzzi (Co-director)

Richard L. Thomas Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change
Professor of Sociology
Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management Science
Kellogg School of Management

Phone: 847-491-8072

Professor Uzzi uses social network analysis and complexity theory to understand outstanding human achievement in business, science, and the arts.

Adam Pah (Associate Director)

Clinical Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations
Kellogg School of Management

Phone: 847-467-1395

Adam Pah's research mission is to find interesting problems that are broadly important to our understanding of human behavior. His work in healthcare is focused on innovation adoption and leveraging  data to improve targeting for change management approaches. His research on conflict includes studying gun violence at schools in the United States and modelling the organizational dynamics of terrorist organizations.

Danny Abrams

Associate Professor, Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-491-5346

Professor Abram's research interests range from coupled oscillators to mathematical geoscience to the physics of social systems.

Erik Andersen

Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biosciences
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Phone: 847-467-4382

The Andersen laboratory uses quantitative and molecular genetics to understand the polymorphisms that underlie multigenic traits of medical, ecological, and evolutionary importance.

Neda Bagheri

Assistant Professor, Chemical & Biological Engineering
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-491-2716

Biological function is governed by highly integrated networks that exhibit nonlinear dynamics at all biochemical/molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. The Bagheri Lab believes that engineering principles can be employed to better understand, predict, and control complex biological functions, and that these principles need to be informed by biology.

Michelle Birkett

Assistant Professor, Medical Social Sciences
Director, CONNECT Research Program
Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing
Feinberg School of Medicine

Phone: 312-503-3303

Professor Birkett's research interests include: social and contextual drivers of health disparities; social marginalization; HIV; network analysis; methods for social and contextual data capture; and transdisciplinary collaborations.

Sarah Bouchat

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Phone: 847-467-2063

Professor Bouchat's research interests are in political methodology, comparative political economy, and authoritarian politics with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. Her current work focuses on elicited priors, as well as machine learning and Bayesian statistical applications for the study of low information, authoritarian regimes like Myanmar.

Rosemary Braun

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Preventive Medicine
Feinberg School of Medicine

Phone: 312-503-3644

Professor Braun is a computational biologist with an interest in the development of methods for integrative, systems-level analysis of high-dimensional ("big") *omic data. These methods incorporate bioinformatic information with experimental data to characterize the networks of interactions that lead to the emergence of complex phenotypes, particularly cancers.

Fabián Bustamante

Professor of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-491-2745

Professor Bustamante is interested in large-scale, longitudinal experimental research on computer networks and distributed systems.

Bruce Carruthers

John D. MacArthur Chair and Professor of Sociology
Director, Buffett Institute for Global Studies
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Phone: 847-467-1251

Professor Carruthers' research interests include: comparative sociology; economy and society; the sociology of law; and the sociology of organizations.

Sunil Chopra

IBM Distinguished Professor of Operations Management
Kellogg School of Management

Phone: 847-491-8169

Professor Chopra’s research interests are in operations management, logistics and distribution management, design of communication networks and design of distribution networks.

Jeannette Colyvas

Associate Professor, Human Development and Social Policy
Associate Professor, Learning Sciences
School of Education & Social Policy

Phone: 847-467-5020

Professor Colyvas' research interests include: organizations and entrepreneurship; institutions and networks; comparing public, private, and non-profit forms of organizing; university-industry interfaces; and public and private science.

Noshir Contractor

Jane S. and William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences
Director, Science of Networks in Communities Research Group (SONIC)
School of Communication

Phone: 847-491-3669

Professor Contractor investigates factors that lead to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in a wide variety of contexts including communities of practice in business, translational science and engineering communities, public health networks and virtual worlds.

Leslie DeChurch

Professor, Department of Communication Studies
School of Communication

Leslie DeChurch’s research investigates teamwork and leadership in organizations. Professor DeChurch leads the ATLAS Lab, which explores the dynamics through which teams form, and how these dynamics affect their performance as teams, and their ability to work as larger organizational systems (multiteam systems).

Steve Franconeri

Professor, Department of Psychology
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Phone: 847-467-1259

Professor Franconeri studies visual thinking and communication: how it works, and how we can make it work better. At his Visual Thinking Laboratory, a team of researchers explore how leveraging the visual system - the largest single system in your brain - can help people think, remember, and communicate more efficiently.

Randy Freeman

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-467-2606

Professor Freeman's research interests include: nonlinear control theory; robust control, optimal control; nonlinear system theory; and control and estimation for multi-agent systems.

Seyed Iravani

Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-491-5538

Professor Iravani's research interests include the applications of stochastic processes and queuing theory in the design and control of manufacturing, service operations and health care systems and supply chains.

Michael Jewett

Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-467-5007

The Jewett lab seeks to reconceptualize the way we engineer complex biological systems for compelling applications in medicine, materials, and energy by transforming biochemical engineering with synthetic biology.

Benjamin Jones

Gordon and Llura Gund Family Professor of Entrepreneurship
Associate Dean for Innovation and Impact
Kellogg School of Management

Phone: 847-491-3177

Professor Jones' research focuses largely on innovation and creativity, with recent work investigating the role of teamwork in innovation and the relationship between age and invention.

William Kath

Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-491-3345

Professor Kath's research interests include: computational neuroscience, action potential propagation and dendritic integration in neurons; predictive modeling of cancer and epigenetic networks; optical fibers and waveguides, polarization mode dispersion, importance sampling and rare event simulation in lightwave systems, optical solitons, parametric optical amplifiers, linear and nonlinear wave propagation; and nonlinear dynamics, asymptotic and singular perturbation methods.

Kevin Lynch

Professor, Mechanical Engineering
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-467-5451

Robotics, mechanics, planning, and control of robotic manipulation; self-organized systems, particularly decentralized control of mobile sensor networks; motion planning and control for underactuated dynamic systems; physical human/robot interaction, industrial applications.

Malcolm MacIver

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Professor of Neurobiology (by Courtesy)
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-491-3540

Professor MacIver believes that the body’s mechanical intelligence can be just as important, if not more important, than what’s going on in your head. His primary scientific efforts are in understanding how animal mechanics and sensory abilities fit together, and he pursues that problem using approaches from neuroscience, animal behavior studies, robotics, mathematical modeling, and computer simulations. In engineering, he has pioneered the development of a new sensor inspired by the ability of certain fish to sense using a self-generated electric field, and highly maneuverable propulsion systems based on fish locomotion.

Adilson Motter

Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Phone: 847-491-4611

Professor Motter's research is focused on the dynamical behavior of complex systems and complex networks. In particular, in recent work Motter and his collaborators have established conditions for the synchronization of power grids and other complex networks, have developed the concept of synthetic rescue in network biology, have designed the first class of metamaterials that exhibit longitudinal negative compressibility, have developed methods for the control the nonlinear dynamics of complex networks, including cascade failures in distributed systems, and have investigated implications of these methods for the recovery of lost function in biological, ecological, and physical networks.

Milan Mrksich

Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry and Cell and Molecular Biology
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-467-0472

The Mrksich Group uses the tools of organic chemistry, materials science and biochemistry to develop new approaches to studying and controlling molecular function.

Todd Murphey

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Phone: 847-467-1041

Professor Murphey's research focuses on computational methods in dynamics and control. The group focuses on computational models of embedded control, biomechanical simulation, dynamic exploration, and hybrid control. Much of the work uses structured integration (numerical techniques specifically suited to mechanical systems) to ensure stability and robustness of the numerical technique.

Julio Ottino

Dean of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
Distinguished Robert R. McCormick Institute Professor Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Phone: 847-491-5220

Dean Ottino’s experimental and theoretical work unveiled the connection between chaos and mixing of fluids and opened multiple connections.

Andrew V. Papachristos

Professor of Sociology
Director, Northwestern Network and Neighborhood Initiative

Phone: (847) 467-1250

Professor Papachristos aims to understand how the connected nature of cities—how their citizens, neighborhoods, and institutions are tied to one another—affect what we feel, think, and do. His main research applies network science to the study of gun violence, police misconduct, illegal gun markets, Al Capone, street gangs, and urban neighborhoods.

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Director and Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research
Margaret Walker Alexander Professor of Human Development and Social Policy
School of Education & Social Policy

Phone: (847) 491-3884

Professor Schanzenbach studies policies aimed at improving the lives of children in poverty, including education, health, and income support policies. Her recent work has focused on tracing the impact of major public policies such as SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program) and early childhood education on children’s long-term outcomes. 

Edward (Ned) Smith

Associate Professor of Management & Organizations
Kellogg School of Management

Phone: 847-467-4907

Professor Smith has two main areas of research. First, he studies the effects of social structure on the behavior and decision-making of individuals and organizations. Second, he works to connect research on cognitive processes and network theories of social capital to better understand how people utilize (and squander) the resources available to them in their social networks. 

Igal Szleifer

Christina Enroth-Cugell Professor of Biomedical Engineering
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Professor Szleifer's work is aimed at the fundamental understanding of the properties of complex molecular systems that encompass problems at the interface between medicine, biology, chemistry, physics and materials science.

Dashun Wang

Associate Professor of Management & Organizations
Kellogg School of Management

Phone: 847-491-8070

Professor Wang leads a group of highly interdisciplinary researchers who are extremely passionate about data. His research takes a multidisciplinary approach - combining computational social science, statistical physics, and computer science - to exploit the opportunities and promises offered by Big Data. 

Uri Wilensky

Professor of Learning Sciences and Computer Sciences
School of Education and Social Policy

Phone: 847-467-3818

Uri Wilensky is a mathematician, educator, learning technologist and computer scientist. He is involved in designing, deploying and researching learning technologies, especially for mathematics and science education. Much of his work of late has focused on the design of computer-based modeling and simulation languages, including networked collaborative simulations. He is very interested in the changing content of curriculum in the context of ubiquitous computation. A particular interest is in complexity and systems thinking.

Teresa Woodruff

Dean and Associate Provost for Graduate Education
The Graduate School at Northwestern University
Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Feinberg School of Medicine

Dean Woodruff is an internationally recognized expert in ovarian biology and, in 2006, coined the term “oncofertility” to describe the merging of two fields: oncology and fertility. She now heads the Oncofertility Consortium, an interdisciplinary team of biomedical and social scientist experts from across the country.

Hyejin Youn

Assistant Professor of Management & Organizations
Kellogg School of Management

Professor Youn's research interests are in Innovation and technological change, urban scaling and dynamics, historical and computational linguistics, transportation network, and network theory.

Florian Zettelmeyer

Nancy L. Ertle Professor of Marketing
Director, Program on Data Analytics at Kellogg
Kellogg School of Management

Professor Zettelmeyer specializes in evaluating the effects of information technology and big data on firms. More generally, his work addresses how the information consumers have about firms and the information firms have about consumers affect firm behavior.

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