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Alessandro Vespignani

Alessandro Vespignani

Director and Sternberg Family Distinguished Professor

Mailing Address:

1010 - 177 (177 Huntington Ave), Boston, MA 02111


  • Theoretical Condensed Matter and Biological Physics



Alessandro Vespignani research activity is focused on the study of “techno-social” systems, where infrastructures composed of different technological layers are interoperating within the social component that drives their use and development. In this context we aim at understanding how the very same elements assembled in large number can give rise – according to the various forces and elements at play – to different macroscopic and dynamical behaviors, opening the path to quantitative computational approaches and forecasting power.

The main research lines pursued at the moment are:

  • Develop analytical and computational models for the co-evolution and interdependence of large-scale social, technological and biological networks.
  • Modeling contagion processes in structured populations.
  • Developing predictive computational tools for the analysis of the spatial spread of emerging diseases.
  • Analyze the dynamics and evolution of information and social networks.
  • Model the adaptive behavior of social systems.

Prof. Vespignani is a joint appointment between the College of Science, the College of Computer and Information Science, and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences.

Alessandro Vespignani in the news

Researchers use Twitter to track the flu in real time

An international team led by Northeastern’s Alessandro Vespignani has developed a unique computational model that uses Twitter to project the spread of the seasonal flu in real time. With it, public health agencies can plan ahead, allocating medical resources and launching preventative care campaigns.