David Lazer

Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Sciences, Co-Director of NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks
education Ph.D., 1996, Political Science
University of Michigan
Mailing address 132 NI
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Professor Lazer is a professor of political science and computer and information science and the co-director of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. Before joining the Northeastern faculty in fall 2009, he was an associate professor of public policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and director of its Program on Networked Governance. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Michigan. Professor Lazer’s research centers on social networks; governance, or how the patterns of institutional relations yield functional or dysfunctional systems; and technology and its use in communication. An authority on social networks, he has written several papers on the diffusion of information among interest groups and between these groups and the government. He is the co-editor of Governance and Information Technology: From Electronic Government to Information Government and also written extensively on the use of DNA in the criminal justice system.

Selected Publications


DNA and the Criminal Justice System:  The Technology of Justice (ed.), MIT press:  2004.
Governance and Information Technology:  From Electronic Government to Information Government, MIT press:  2007. (with V. Mayer-Schönberger)

Recent/Forthcoming Articles

“The Social Amplifier – Reaction of Human Communities to Emergencies”, Journal of Statistical Physcis, 2013 (with Yaniv Altshuler, Michael Fire, Erez Shmueli, Yuval Elovici, Alfred Bruckstein, and Alex Pentland).

“Who Wants To Deliberate- And Why?”Winner of the Heinz Eulau award for best paper published in the APSR in 2010American Political Science Review 104(3), 2010 (with M. Neblo, K. Esterling, R. Kennedy, and A. Sokhey).

“Means, Motive, & Opportunity in Becoming Informed About Politics: A Deliberative Field Experiment with Members of Congress and Their Constituents,” Public Opinion Quarterly (with M. Neblo and K. Esterling), forthcoming.

“Connecting to Constituents: The Diffusion of Representation Practices among Congressional Websites”, Political Research Quarterly (with K. Eterling and M. Neblo), forthcoming.

“Estimating Treatment Effects in the Presence of Noncompliance and Nonresponse: The Generalized Endogenous Treatment Model”, Political Analysis (with M. Neblo, K. Esterling), forthcoming.

“Searching for Answers: Networks of Practice among Public Administrators, “American Review of Public Administration 41 (2) 2012, (with M. Binz-Scharf and I. Mergel).

“Representative Communication: Website Interactivity & Distributional Path Dependence in the U.S. Congress,” Political Communication 28, 2011 (with K. Esterling, M. Neblo).

“Networks in Political Science: Back to the Future,” PS: Political Science & Politics, January 2011.

“The multiple institutional logics of innovation,” International Public Management Journal, 14, 2011. (with I. Mergel, C. Ziniel, K. Esterling, and M. Neblo).

“The coevolution of networks and political attitudes,” Political Communication 27(3), 2010 (with B. Rubineau, C. Chetkovich, N. Katz, and M. Neblo).

“Reply to Adams: Multi-Dimensional Edge Inference”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 2, 2010. (with N. Eagle, A. Clauset, and A. Pentland)

“Inferring friendship structure using mobile phone data,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 17, 2009 (with N. Eagle and A. Pentland)

“Computational Social Science,” Science, February 6, 2009. (with A. Pentland, L. Adamic, S. Aral, A-L Barabasi, D. Brewer, N. Christakis, N. Contractor, J. Fowler, M. Gutmann, T. Jebara, G. King, M. Macy, D. Roy, and M. Van Alstyne)

“The social structure of exploration and exploitation,” Administrative Science Quarterly, December, 2007. (with A. Friedman)

“Structure and tie strengths in mobile communication networks,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 1, 2007. (with J.-P. Onnela, J. Saramaki, J. Hyvonen, G. Szabo,K. Kaskil, J. Kertesz, A.-L. Barabasi)

“Finding Criminals Through DNA of Their Relatives,” Science, June 2, 2006, (with F. Bieber and C. Brenner

Selected Honors & Awards

Heinz Eulau award for best paper in the APSR in 2010 (for M. Neblo, K. Esterling, R. Kennedy, D. Lazer, and A. Sokhey, “Who wants to deliberate—and Why”).

Political Networks section award for best paper presented at 2011 American Political Association meeting (for D. Lazer, A. Sokhey, M. Neblo, and K. Esterling, “Difference and Deliberation”).