Network Science: From the Web to the Cell

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 7:00pm
Broad Institute Auditorium
Albert-László Barabási
Lecturer Photo

Highly interconnected networks with amazingly complex structure describe systems as diverse as the World Wide Web, our cells, social systems and the economy. In the past decade we learned that most of these networks are the result of self-organizing processes governed by simple but generic laws, resulting in architectural features that makes them much more similar to each other than one would have expected by chance. I will discuss the recurring patterns of our interconnected world and its implications to network robustness and spreading processes.

This joint meeting of the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM will be held in the Broad Institute Auditorium (MIT building NE-30). The Broad Institute is on Main St between Vassar and Ames streets. You can see it on a map at this location. The auditorium is on the ground floor near the entrance.
Up-to-date information about this and other talks is available online at For more information contact Peter Mager (p.mager at

Albert-László Barabási is the former Emil T. Hofmann professor at the University of Notre Dame and current Distinguished Professor and Director of Northeastern University's Center for Complex Network Research (CCNR) and an associate member of the Center of Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University. He introduced the concept of scale-free networks in 1999 and proposed the Barabási–Albert model to explain their widespread emergence in natural, technological and social systems, Among the topics in network theory that Barabási has studied are growth and preferential attachment, the mechanisms probably responsible in part for the structure of the World Wide Web, usage patterns on cell phone networks and the cell.

Barabási is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, an external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and a member of the Academia Europaea. In 2005 he was awarded the FEBS Anniversary Prize for Systems Biology and in 2006 the John von Neumann Medal by the John von Neumann Computer Society of Hungary.

He is the author of two well known books: "Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What it Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life", 2002, and "Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do", 2010, and many articles including a long article "Statistical mechanics of complex networks", co-authored with Reka Albert, in Reviews of Modern Physics (Vol 74, no. 1, Jan 2002) that discusses much of the mathematical basis of his theories.