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External Faculty

Stefano Allesina

Professor of Ecology and Evolution
The University of Chicago

Professor Allesina is a theoretical ecologist studying mostly ecological networks. He is interested in the dynamics of large ecological communities, models for network structure, and the response of ecological communities to extinctions. His laboratory develops mathematical, computational and statistical tools for the analysis of ecological systems.

Samuel Arbesman

Scientist in Residence, Lux Capital
Senior Fellow, Silicon Flatirons Center
University of Colorado Boulder

Professor Arbesman is a complexity scientist, whose work focuses on the nature of scientific and technological change. His scientific research has been cited widely and Arbesman is the author of two award-winning books, Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension (Current/Penguin, 2016) and The Half-Life of Facts (Current/Penguin, 2012).

Jonathan Atwell

Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior
Stanford Graduate School of Business
NU Data Science Scholar, 2017-2019

Professor Atwell studies how groups of individuals communicate and consume social information. Using simulations, large-group experiments, and natural language processing, Dr. Atwell analyzes how different dynamic social processes produce, distribute and aggregate the information necessary for large groups to create these essential shared understandings.

Robert Axtell

Professor, Computational Social Science
George Mason University

Professor Axtell works at the intersection of the computational, social, behavioral and economic sciences. His research group combines agent-based computing with micro-data to build large-scale models having high verisimilitude with the real-world. They have worked on a variety of policy issues, from housing to fisheries, behavioral aspects of retirement and science policy.

Neda Bagheri

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Washington

Professor Bagheri's lab integrates experimental data with computational methods to uncover fundamental properties governing intracellular dynamics and intercellular regulation. Her interdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists employs machine learning, dynamical systems, and/or agent-based modeling strategies to explain unique biological observations across several fields of study, including cancer, immune, and circadian biology.

Sam Barnett

Founder & Chief Executive Officer
SBB Research Group

Sam Barnett, Ph.D., is an applied mathematician and neuroscientist specializing in financial markets, consumer decisions, content engagement, and other complex systems. He focuses on bridging academia and industry in his roles as the Chief Executive Officer of SBB Research Group. Dr. Barnett received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Northwestern University studying EEG-derived neural similarity.

Alex Bentley

Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of Tennessee

Alex Bentley is a Professor and the Head of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee. Professor Bentley’s research involves interdisciplinary analysis of culture change, past and present. This involves two main methodologies, one in analysis of isotopes in archaeological skeletal material, and the other in computational social science.

Dirk Brockmann

Professor at the Institute of Biology
Humboldt-University of Berlin

Professor Brockmann is a theoretical physicist by training, and his research focuses on complex systems at the interface of physics, life sciences and social sciences. He is particularly interested the application of dynamicals systems theory, stochastic processes and network science to infectious disease dynamics and related contagion processes. He is known for his work on human mobility and its role on the global spread of infectious diseases.

Cristian Candia-Castro Vallejos

Assistant Professor, Data Science Institute (IDS)
Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile
NICO Post Doctoral Fellow, 2019-2020

Professor Candia's work stands on the intersection of (big) data analysis and human behavior theories applied to socio-economic systems. Recently, his work focuses on computational social science and network science, particularly on hate speech dynamics, learning analytics, cooperative learning, higher education decision making, collective memory, and experimental game theory.

Daniel Diermeier

Chancellor, Vanderbilt University
NICO Co-Founder

Daniel Diermeier's teaching and research focus on formal political theory, political institutions, the interaction of business and politics, text analytics, behavioral models of politics, and crisis and reputation management. He has published four books and more than 100 research articles in academic journals, mostly in the fields of political science, economics and management, and in other areas ranging from linguistics, sociology and psychology to computer science, operations research and applied mathematics.

James Evans

Professor, Department of Sociology
Director, Knowledge Lab
The University of Chicago

Professor Evans research focuses on the collective system of thinking and knowing, ranging from the distribution of attention and intuition, the origin of ideas and shared habits of reasoning to processes of agreement (and dispute), accumulation of certainty (and doubt), and the texture—novelty, ambiguity, topology—of understanding.

Roger Guimera

Research Professor, ICREA
Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)

Professor Guimera's research is devoted to the study of complex systems and, particularly, of the structure of complex networks and the interplay between network structure and dynamics. In recent years, his work has turned to the development of probabilistic models and Bayesian inference approaches to network and non-network problems, at the interface of probability theory, theoretical computer science, and statistical physics.

Eszter Hargittai

Professor & Chair of Internet Use and Society
University of Zurich

Professor Hargittai's research focuses on the social and policy implications of digital media with a particular interest in how differences in people's Internet skills/digital literacy influence what they do online.

Cristian Huepe

Research Scientist, CHuepe Labs Inc.
Adjunct Professor, Engineering Sciences & Applied Mathematics
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Cristian Huepe develops research in complex systems, nonequilibrium physical dynamics and quantitative social sciences. Current efforts focus on collective motion, active matter, complex networks, modular-hierarchical evolutionary structures, and opinion formation.

Konrad Kording

Penn Integrated Knowledge Professor
University of Pennsylvania

Professor Kording's research has one single focus, data that matters. Early research in the lab focused on computational neuroscience and in particular movement. But as the approaches matured, the focus has more been on discovering ways in which new data sources as well as emerging data analysis can enable awesome possibilities. The current focus is on Causality in Data science applications - how do we know how things work if we can not randomize?

PJ Lamberson

Associate Professor
University of California, Los Angeles
NICO Associate Director, 2013–2015

Professor Lamberson's research uses mathematical and computational modeling to better understand complex social systems. He is especially interested in how ideas, technologies, and behaviors spread, and how the “wisdom of crowds” can be used to aggregate information.

Dean Malmgren

Executive Portfolio Director

Dean Malmgren is an Executive Portfolio Director for IDEO. He was previously a co-founder and data scientist at Datascope, a data science consulting firm in Chicago, which was acquired by IDEO in October 2017. Dean received a BS and BSE from the University of Michigan and a PhD from Northwestern University. Dean’s work has been featured in places like Crain’s, TIME, Wired, and US News & World Report.

Hope Michelson

Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Professor Michelson studies the dynamics of poverty and food security in low-income countries where market failures are a fact of life. One of her key subjects is the interaction of international development efforts with local and large-scale agribusiness. She investigates how small farmers respond to the expansion of international supply chains, the sourcing of agricultural products, and the buying and selling of agricultural inputs.

Janet Pierrehumbert

Professor of Language Modelling
Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford

Professor Pierrehumbert's research uses machine learning methods to understand language systems both in individuals and in communities. She is especially interested in how systems of word formation can be learned from statistical properties of the input, deployed to analyse novel words, and adapted to different contexts.

Bill Rand

Associate Professor of Marketing
Poole College of Management, NC State

Professor Rand examines the use of computational modeling techniques, such as agent-based modeling, machine learning, network analysis, natural language processing, and geographic information systems, to help understand and analyze complex systems, such as the diffusion of information, organizational learning, and economic markets.

Felix Reed-Tsochas

Professor of Complex Systems
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Professor Reed-Tsochas' research addresses the dynamic properties of large-scale collaboration and manufacturing networks, common structural features in organisational and ecological networks, the impact of imitation mechanisms on the emergence of cooperation, the robustness of ecological networks, and the spread of innovations in online social networks. These individual projects are linked by broader theoretical concerns, including the need to develop a more dynamic conception of network robustness and resilience, and an interest in identifying generative mechanisms that give rise to generic structures of cooperation.

Marta Sales-Pardo

Associate Professor
Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)

As part of the SEES:lab, Professor Sales-Pardo studies fundamental problems in all areas of science including natural, social and economic sciences. They have expertise in a broad set of tools from statistical physics, network science, statistics and computer science.

Chris Skovron

Director of Data Science, Civiqs
Data Science Scholar, 2017-2019

Chris Skovron is a political scientist and data scientist working on public opinion and representation. He was a Data Science Scholar at Northwestern (joint appointment with IPR and NICO) from 2017-2019.

Michael Stringer

Executive Design Director, IDEO
NICO Post Doctoral Fellow, 2011

Mike Stringer is an Executive Design Director at IDEO. He was previously the co-founder and partner of Datascope Analytics, a Chicago data-driven consulting and design firm which was aquired by IDEO in October 2017. He often speaks about creatively using data at conferences and leads the Data Science Chicago group. Stringer received a BS in Engineering Physics from the University of Colorado and a PhD in Physics from Northwestern University.

Michael Schnabel

Research Assistant Professor
University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

Michael Schnabel applies methods and ideas from statistical physics and neuroscience to model collective decision-making and information processing in social systems. His current research topics include opinion formation, deliberative democracy, and cognitive models of decision-making.

Mary Silber

Professor, Department of Statistics
The University of Chicago

Professor Silber's research is broadly in the area of dynamical systems. She studies applications of bifurcation theory to 'tipping points' and to spontaneous pattern formation in physical systems. Currently she is especially interested in dynamical systems models related to Earth's climate and ecosystems. Her focus is on understanding the mathematical mechanisms behind qualitative changes in system behavior with changes in system parameters.

Teresa Woodruff

Provost, Michigan State University
Adjunct Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine

Teresa 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. Prior to leaving Northwestern in 2020 to become Provost at Michigan State University, she was Dean and Associate Provost for Graduate Education in The Graduate School.
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