Alessandro Vespignani

Alex Vespignani is the Sternberg Distinguished Professor of Physics, Computer Science and Health Sciences.

Degrees/Education

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

Publications

Location

132-B Nightingale Hall

Should we be worried about the plague?

California’s Department of Public Health announced last week that a child contracted the plague after visiting Yosemite National Park in July, the third reported case this year. With the plague’s recent return to the news, we took a look at some myths and truths about the centuries-old disease.

How to battle disease using Big Data

At the latest installment of the “Minds over Matters: NUterm Faculty Speaker Series,” Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor Alessandro Vespignani described how his lab is able to predict the spread of a disease by tracking just one person.

3Qs: Tracking the flu

College of Science professor Alessandro Vespignani, a world-renowned network scientist, is working to forecast the spread of the flu.

A new tool to follow Ebola news on Twitter

A new Web tool co-developed by network scientist Alessandro Vespignani and his team at Northeastern’s MoBS Lab pulls Twitter mentions of Ebola-related keywords and displays them on an interactive world map – allowing the public to follow the latest news and discussion in real time.

Big Data, innovative research

An interdisciplinary group of Northeastern faculty and students led interactive demos and presentations showcasing their research projects that leverage Big Data at the university’s sixth Pop Up Open Lab Experience and Reception on Monday.