People hiking

Northeastern professor and family lead camp for marginalized children in native Transylvania

A trip to Transylvania this past summer left Northeastern professor Albert-László Barabási “humbled,” but eager to go back and do it all over again.

This wasn’t his first visit to the region of Romania that many around the world know as the mysterious homeland of Count Dracula, the vampire antagonist in Bram Stoker’s horror novel.

Barabási, Robert Gray Dodge professor of network science and a distinguished university professor of physics at Northeastern, grew up among descendants of Hungarian settlers in Transylvania where Hungarians, Romanians, Roma, German and other minorities co-exist together.

This summer, Barabási and his family traveled to the predominantly Hungarian village of Gyergyószárhegy in eastern Transylvania to spend a week with underprivileged and orphaned children living in foster care.

“It was a very humbling experience,” Barabási says. “We thought we were giving, but we received much more.”

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Photos courtesy Janet Kelley.

Physics