Alessandro Vespignani

Professor Email: Phone: 617.373.7367


Ph.D., University of Rome, 1994

Area(s) of Expertise

Theoretical Condensed Matter and Biological Physics

Research Interests

Alessandro Vespignani research activity is focused on the study of “techno-social” systems, where infrastructures composed of different technological layers are interoperating within the social component that drives their use and development. In this context we aim at understanding how the very same elements assembled in large number can give rise – according to the various forces and elements at play – to different macroscopic and dynamical behaviors, opening the path to quantitative computational approaches and forecasting power.

The main research lines pursued at the moment are:

  • Develop analytical and computational models for the co-evolution and interdependence of large-scale social, technological and biological networks.
  • Modeling contagion processes in structured populations.
  • Developing predictive computational tools for the analysis of the spatial spread of emerging diseases.
  • Analyze the dynamics and evolution of information and social networks.
  • Model the adaptive behavior of social systems.

Lab Website



132-B Nightingale Hall

3Qs: Global impact of the Ebola outbreak

With the deadly Ebola outbreak continuing, Professor Alessandro Vespignani discusses the spread of infectious diseases.

The potential pandemic

In a recently released paper Alessandro Vespig­nani and his col­lab­o­ra­tors pro­vide hard numbers regarding accidental escape of a lethal virus. And they aren’t good.

Network scientists lead congressional briefing

Net­work sci­ence has the poten­tial to solve major national chal­lenges in health, secu­rity, and sus­tain­ability, said two North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sors in a briefing on Tuesday after­noon in Wash­ington, D.C.

An up-close look at network science

Alessandro Vespignani, a world-renowned expert in network science, was a guest on #sciencechat on Wednesday, August 21, 2013.

Local bioterrorism as a potential global threat

According to a new com­puter mod­eling research study from North­eastern Uni­ver­sity net­work sci­en­tist Alessandro Vespig­nani, when it comes to bioter­rorist attacks, “dis­eases have no bor­ders.”

Validation for Flu Prediction

As news of the latest outbreak is upon us, Vespignani and his colleagues recently pub­lished an article in the journal BMC Med­i­cine that offers defin­i­tive proof of a strong agree­ment between the pre­dic­tions and the real-​​life sur­veil­lance data col­lected in 2009.

Northeastern researcher elected president of the Complex Systems Society

The sci­ence of com­plex sys­tems was born in the mid-​​20th cen­tury, but it has only recently begun to mature into a research field with real-​​world rel­e­vance.

Forecasting The Spread Of Emerging Diseases

If we can forecast the path of a hurricane or even the trajectory of a subatomic particle, why shouldn’t we also be able to forecast the spread of an emerging disease? That is the question Alessandro Vespignani, who was installed

World-Renowned Statistical Physicist Alessandro Vespignani Is The Weatherman of Network Science

In 2009, the newly appointed Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor of Physics — with appointments in the College of Science, College of Computer and Information Science and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences — developed a computational model that accurately