Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Centre for Network Science, CEU
Budapest - Central European University, the U.S.- and Hungarian-accredited graduate institution in Budapest founded by George Soros, is launching a new PhD program in the interdisciplinary academic field of network science. This discipline takes advantage of the opportunities provided by so-called big data to analyze networks - such as social, energy, terrorist, or biological networks - and develop predictive models.
CEU founded its Center for Network Science (CNS) in 2008, one of the world's first research centers to focus on this field. Network science pioneers Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Rosario Mantegna, and Janos Kertesz joined the faculty in 2012. This enabled CNS to launch an Advanced Certificate in Network Science, which is registered at the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and is offered to CEU students in the Departments of Economics, Political Science, Mathematics and its Applications, and Environmental Sciences and Policy. The certificate program, which will remain available for Master's-level students, paved the way for the creation of the doctoral program.
CNS is already producing significant research. For example, Professor Janos Kertesz determined that it's possible to predict which movies will be box-office hits by analyzing the extent and nature of the editing of Wikipedia entries about the films. Some of Barabasi's notable research has shown just how close Internet connections are and how dominant some content providers are, revealing a lopsided web vulnerable to cyber attacks. Barabasi also conducted a study to measure the real impact of academic papers that reveals the flaw in the academic obligation to "publish or perish" - seemingly placing quantity of publications over quality. Kertesz has also published research mapping the trajectory of relationships in women's lives versus men's lives by analyzing billions of cell phone calls - precisely the the kind of vast datasets that have become available for research over the last decade.
CEU plans to collaborate with other institutions of higher education that are taking a leading role in this field, including Northeastern University (where Barabasi holds a professorship and directs their Center for Complex Network Research) and the Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca in Italy.