A chance encounter in Budapest, Hun­gary, led to the meeting of Albert-​​László Barabási, a renowned net­work sci­en­tist at North­eastern and author of the new book, “Bursts: The Hidden Pat­tern Behind Every­thing We Do,” and Transylvanian-​​born artist Botond Részegh.

During the con­ver­sa­tion, Barabási shared the idea behind his new book with Részegh and asked the artist if he would do the illustrations.

Részegh, whose cre­ations have been shown around the world and are held in pri­vate col­lec­tions, including that of Albert II, the prince of Monaco, was enthu­si­astic to sign on. The two spent the next three years dis­cussing the project via Internet video chat. It wasn’t always easy, according to Részegh.

At first it was very dif­fi­cult,” said Részegh. “I am not a sci­en­tist; László is. Our first con­ver­sa­tions were about pure physics—can you imagine? My head grew like a melon. We met often so that I could learn more about physics and science.”

Pub­lished today, “Bursts” explores human pre­dictability through exam­ples from present and past human his­tory. Részegh’s orig­inal work in the book will be fea­tured in an exhibit at Northeastern’s Inter­na­tional Vil­lage that, coin­ciding with the book’s appear­ance, opens today.

The exhibit — Részegh’s first in the United States — titled “Mundus Imag­i­nalis” — also includes some of his ear­lier, mixed-​​technique works in which he explores other human inter­ac­tion using a com­bi­na­tion of inks, acrylics, etch­ings and drawings.

It was a true plea­sure to bridge the gulf between art, writing and sci­ence with Botond during our three-​​year col­lab­o­ra­tion,” said Barabási, dis­tin­guished pro­fessor of physics and the founding director of Northeastern’s Center for Com­plex Net­work Research. “The rewards of moving out of our com­fort zone and working with indi­vid­uals who speak a dif­ferent pro­fes­sional lan­guage can be huge, and that was cer­tainly the case in this situation.”

Upon learning of the col­lab­o­ra­tion between the artist and the physi­cist, Isabel Meirelles, asso­ciate pro­fessor in Northeastern’s Depart­ment of Art + Design, extended an invi­ta­tion to Részegh to join the uni­ver­sity as a vis­iting artist, par­tic­i­pate in classes and exhibit his work.

Merielles was par­tic­u­larly enthused about Barabási’s interest in mixing dis­ci­plines through cre­ative projects, observing that, “Barabási has a beau­tiful mind that works in ways that are innately interdisciplinary.

It is also beau­tiful how art can be con­nected to sci­ence and his­tory. When he told me about the book and the works by Részegh, I wanted to bring (the artist) to Northeastern.”

Részegh noted that his col­lab­o­ra­tion with Barabási has had a lasting effect. “His book and research have changed my work and the way I think about art,” he said.