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Developing effective interdisciplinary research solutions


Facilitating the discovery of real-world problems

NICO serves as a facilitator for innovative and impactful research conducted on an ever-expanding scale. Expert faculty members from all corners of the university collaborate at NICO to discover and create new angles from which to approach real-world problems like improving medical devices, mapping nationwide voting patterns, and predicting terror attacks. Researchers at NICO combine the interconnected approaches of civil engineering, anthropology, marketing, computer science, preventive medicine, economics, and countless other disciplines to form the basis of their work.

Research Areas

Research Areas

NICO has become the springboard for Northwestern’s leading researchers and innovators to dive into large-scale problems rooted in complexity and network science, and to achieve novel insights through the creative integration of diverse approaches to discovery.

Data Science Initiative

The skills needed to go from data to knowledge and application, which go under the name of Data Science, are in high demand in industry, government, and academia. In 2015, Northwestern launched the Data Science Initiative to foster data science research at Northwestern.

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Research by NICO faculty is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Lab, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Research Lab, the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the MacArthur Foundation, the McDonnell Foundation, DARPA, and many others.

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