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Contagion: Tracking Epidemics with Computer Science

Map and model the spread of an infectious disease using Gleamviz, an epidemic simulation program. Learn how programming and data visualization meld with epidemiology to provide researchers with key information during infectious disease outbreaks.

The types of problems that the MOBS Lab works on include developing data-driven models for the spread of infectious diseases; studying social human behavior; modeling the evolution of complex social and technological networks; mining usage and traffic patterns in technological networks such as the Web and the Internet; studying the interaction between social dynamics and online behaviors.


Within Northeastern University, the MOBS Lab is a part of the Network Science Institute and has close collaborations with the Lazer Laboratory and the Center for Complex Networks Research. The MOBS Lab are associated with the  Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University. The Laboratory is also one of the site of the CS4HS network of the WHO Collaborating Center for complexity science for health systems.  The MOBS Lab is also part of the Complex Networks Collaboratory together with the Institute for Scientific Interchange in Torino, Italy, and the Centre de Physique Théorique at the University of Marseille, France. ​ 

Dr. Alessandro Vespignani

Alessandro Vespignani is the Sternberg Family Distinguished University professor at Northeastern University. He is the founding director of the Network Science Institute and lead the Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Socio-technical Systems. Vespignani’s recent work focuses on data-driven computational modeling and forecast of emerging infectious diseases; resilience of complex networks; and collective behavior of techno-social systems. Vespignani is elected fellow of the American Physical Society, member of the Academy of Europe, and fellow of the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University. He served in the board/leadership of several of professional association, journals and institutions.