The evidence is clear that Albert László Barabási, a world-renowned network scientist and Distinguished University Professor of Physics at Northeastern University, has enjoyed a successful career. As the founding professor of Northeastern’s network science program, Barabási is a “brilliant and motivated” scholar, in the words of his graduate advisor, Gene Stanley, himself a distinguished professor of physics at Boston University.
Barabási has published four books and 142 papers, which have collectively received more than 100 thousand citations. He’s even got a Kevin Bacon number of one, thanks to his appearance alongside the Hollywood actor in a movie called “Connected,” according to Larry Finkelstein, dean of the College of Computer and Information Science. As Murray Gibson, dean of the College of Science, put it, “you can’t hide from the obvious impact of his work.”
But on Monday at a ceremony installing him as the inaugural Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science, Barabási asked whether all these accolades actually made him a good hire back in 2009.