Speakers


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  Alessandro Vespignani, Northeastern University
Alessandro Vespignani received his undergraduate degree and Ph.D., both in physics and both from the University of Rome "La Sapienza", in 1990 and 1994 respectively. After holding research positions at Yale University and Leiden University, he has been a member of the condensed matter research group at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (UNESCO) in Trieste. Before joining Indiana University,Vespignani has been a faculty of the Laboratoire de Physique Theorique at the University of Paris-Sud working for the French National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS).
Vespignani has worked in a number of areas of non-equilibrium particle systems, statistical physics and computational sciences, including characterization of non-equilibrium phase transitions, fractal growth and self-organized criticality. Recently Vespignani's research activity focuses on the interdisciplinary application of statistical and numerical simulation methods in the analysis of epidemic and spreading phenomena and the study of biological, social and technological networks. For several years he has been working on the characterization and modeling of the Internet, the WWW and large-scale information networks. He is now focusing his research activity in modeling the spatial spread of epidemics, including the realistic and data-driven computational modeling of emerging infectious diseases, the resilience of complex networks and the behavior of techno-social systems.
Vespignani has published 120+ peer reviewed papers in top rated scientific journals, including Nature, Science and PNAS that have accrued more than 7,000 citations. He is author, together with Romualdo Pastor-Satorras, of the book Evolution and Structure of the Internet. Together with Alain Barrat and Marc Barthelemy he has published in 2008 the monograph Dynamical Processes on Complex Networks. Vespignani is an elected fellow of the American Physical Society and is serving in the board/leadership of a variety of professional association and journals and the Institute for Scientific Interchange Foundation in Turin, Italy.
 

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  Geoffrey West, The Santa Fe Institute
Geoffrey West is a theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions in physics, especially those concerning the elementary particles, their interactions and cosmological implications. He served as SFI President from July 2005 through July 2009. Prior to joining the Santa Fe Institute as a Distinguished Professor in 2003, he was the leader, and founder, of the high energy physics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he is one of only approximately ten Senior Fellows. His long-term fascination in general scaling phenomena evolved into a highly productive collaboration on the origin of universal scaling laws that pervade biology from the molecular genomic scale up through mitochondria and cells to whole organisms and ecosystems. This led to the development of realistic quantitative models for the structural and functional design of organisms based on underlying universal principles.
 

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  Kathleen C. Engel, Suffolk University, Law School
Kathleen Engel is the Associate Dean for Intellectual Life and a Professor of Law at Suffolk University. She is a national authority on mortgage finance and regulation, subprime and predatory lending, and housing discrimination. Her many publications include a 2011 book published by Oxford University Press, The Subprime Virus: Reckless Credit, Regulatory Failure and Next Steps (with Prof. P. McCoy) and articles in Texas Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Washington University Law Quarterly, Connecticut Law Review, The Journal of Economics and Business, Fordham Urban Law Journal, and Housing Policy Debate. Professor Engel presents her research in academic, banking, and policy forums throughout the country and around the world. Her analysis of financial services markets and the laws that regulate them regularly catches the attention of the press; The New York Times, Business Week, The Economist, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal have all cited her work. Prof. Engel has advised federal and state agencies on various matters related to financing of loans and served for three years on the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board.
Professor Engel is an honors graduate from Smith College and the University of Texas School of Law. Following graduation from law school, Professor Engel clerked for Judge Homer Thornberry of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Austin, Texas. She then practiced law at Burnham & Hines in Boston, where she primarily represented plaintiffs in civil rights, and housing and employment discrimination cases. Prior to joining the faculty at Suffolk University, Professor Engel held the Leon M. and Gloria Plevin Professorship at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
Professor Engel has taught courses on torts, civil procedure, employment law, employment discrimination, and consumer credit.
 

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  Ren Y. Cheng, Fidelity Investments
Ren Cheng is senior research advisor for Fidelity Management & Research Company (FMRCo), Mr. Cheng assumed his current position in the Asset Allocation Division of FMRCo in October 2009 and is responsible for working with investment teams across the company on asset allocation and research. He reports directly to president of the Asset Allocation Division, Boyce Greer.
Mr. Cheng joined Fidelity in 1994. He invented and developed the concept of Target Date Funds from 1994 to 1996. He served as the first manager of the Fidelity Freedom funds from October 1996 until September 2007. He also started and managed the first national level 529 College Investment Funds, The Fidelity UNIQUE 529 portfolios in 1998. Mr. Cheng acted as managing director of the Global Asset Allocation group from September 2005 until assuming the role of chief investment officer of the Global Asset Allocation Group in September 2007. He took a leave of absence from Fidelity in 2008 and returned in October 2009 under his current title.
Prior to joining Fidelity, Mr. Cheng spent nine years at Putnam Investments, from 1985 to 1994, leaving the company as a senior vice president and senior portfolio manager. He was responsible for managing risk-controlled asset allocation portfolios for U.S. and international institutional clients.
Born in 1957, Mr. Cheng earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from National Taiwan University in 1979 and a master's degree in economics from Brown University in 1983.
 

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  Eric Bonabeau, Icosystem
Eric Bonabeau, the founder of Icosystem, is one of the world's leading experts in complex systems and distributed adaptive problem solving and is known worldwide for his ability to apply the concepts of complexity science to real-world problems. His work focuses on the limits of human decision-making in a complex, decentralized and unpredictable world. He has written three books, including the perennial scientific bestseller, Swarm Intelligence, which provided the inspiration for another bestseller, Michael Crichton's Prey. He has published more than 140 scientific articles in international journals and conference proceedings and is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and the MIT Sloan Management Review.
 

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  David Lazer, Northeastern University
David Lazer is an Associate Professor in Northeastern University's Department of Political Science and the College of Computer and Information Science and Director of the Program on Networked Governance at Harvard. His work focuses on the nexus of policy networks, computational social science, and collaborative intelligence. He is a reviewing editor for Science, and his research has been published in such journals as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the American Political Science Review, and the Administrative Science Quarterly.
 

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  Adam Price, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
Adam Price is a Fulbright Scholar and a 2011 Mid-Career Master in Public Administration candidate at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a two-term former Plaid Cymru - the Party of Wales Member of Parliament where he represented Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.
He was the 2002 Spectator Magazine Parliamentary Inquisitor of the Year and received a series of awards and award nominations from the BBC, ITV and Channel Four and the national newspaper of Wales, the Western Mail, mainly for his work in opposing the war in Iraq.
As Director of Elections for Plaid Cymru, he managed the successful 2007 National Assembly election campaign, helping to take the party into government for the first time in its 82 year old history.
Prior to entering the House of Commons, Adam was a managing director of an economics consultancy. His Fulbright year was spent taking a Mid Career Master's in Public Administration at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
 
  Dean LeBaron,
An alumnus of Harvard University and a Baker Scholar at the Harvard Business School, Dean LeBaron is founder and former chairman of Batterymarch Financial Management, recognized by the industry as one of the most innovative investment management firms. It is now a subsidiary of Legg Mason. Among Dean's accomplishments, he was one of the inventors of index funds and a pioneer of quantitative investing and computerized trading. In his professional life and in his relationships with clients, colleagues, and competitors, Dean has practiced sharing and sunshine-transparency, openness, and full disclosure-and the vigorous observance of corporate governance policies. If the choice is limited to being best or being first, Dean would say that being first is often best. Demonstrating his philosophy that, in the investment field, you should be where everyone else is not, he was an early, and sometimes first, institutional investor in the emerging markets of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, and Russia, and was invited by the Gorbachev government to help privatize the Soviet military industrial complex. Dean earned his CFA charter in 1967, and, in 2001, was the seventh recipient of the Association for Investment Management and Research's highest honor, the Award for Professional Excellence. This award, established by the AIMR in 1991, is "periodically presented to an investment practitioner whose exemplary achievement, excellence of practice and true leadership have inspired and reflected honor upon the profession."
 
  Ricardo Hausmann, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
Ricardo Hausmann is Director of Harvard's Center for International Development and Professor of the Practice of Economic Development at the Kennedy School of Government. Previously, he served as the first Chief Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank (1994-2000), where he created the Research Department. He has served as Minister of Planning of Venezuela (1992-1993) and as a member of the Board of the Central Bank of Venezuela. He also served as Chair of the IMF-World Bank Development Committee. He was Professor of Economics at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administracion (IESA) (1985-1991) in Caracas, where he founded the Center for Public Policy. His research interests include issues of growth, macroeconomic stability, international finance, and the social dimensions of development. He holds a PhD in economics from Cornell University.
 

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  Hamid Benbrahim, Fidelity Investments
Hamid Benbrahim is Vice President and head of the Center for Applied Complexity at Fidelity Investments addressing systemic risk in financial markets, self-organization in large corporations, and robustness and security in large technology infrastructures.
Prior to joining Fidelity Dr. Benbrahim advised Venture Capital firms on investments and going to market strategies in mobile and social media.
During his thirteen year tenure at Verizon Communications (previously GTE) Dr. Benbrahim assumed a number of business operations and technology roles. He led the deployment and design of Fault, Configuration, and Performance Management systems and processes for voice, data, and mobile Network Operations Centers in the US, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Argentina. As Chief Technology Architect he led a number of large software integration and deployment projects including the integration of large backend systems for the domestic yellow pages business unit and modernization of billing and customer service systems and processes for Verizon's mobile business unit in the Dominican Republic. As head of the Verizon's mobile yellow pages business unit in 2003, Dr. Benbrahim was responsible for the launch of new mobile phone products including local advertising, weather, movies, maps, and driving directions.
Dr. Benbrahim holds a PhD in Engineering (robotics and machine learning) from the University of New Hampshire, a DEA in Control Systems from Universite de Caen, France, and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School.
 

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  Cesar A. Hidalgo, MIT Media Lab
Cesar A. Hidalgo is an assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab, and faculty associate at Harvard University's Center for International Development. Before joining MIT, Hidalgo was an adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a research fellow at Harvard's Center for International Development. Hidalgo's work focuses on improving the understanding of systems by using and developing concepts of complexity, evolution, and network science; his goal is to help improve understanding of the evolution of prosperity in order to help develop industrial policies that can help countries raise the living standards of their citizens. His areas of application include economic development, systems biology, and social systems. Hidalgo is also a graphic-art enthusiast and has published and exhibited artwork that uses data collected originally for scientific purposes. A native of Santiago de Chile, Hidalgo holds a PhD in physics from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor's degree in physics from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.
 

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  Marta Gonzalez, MIT
Marta C. Gonzalez is Assistant Professor at MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She received a PhD in physics from Stuttgart Univarsitat (Germany) in 2006 with Hans Herrmann of ETH Zurich. Using approaches from statistical physics, computational sciences, geographic information systems and network theory, she studies network problems such as human mobility patterns using mobile phone communication, propagation of mobile phone viruses and urban transportation models. A project to analyze millions of anonymous cell phone messages is helping her answer questions about where people travel and how social networks connect them. This information can help planners prepare for emergency events such as evacuating a city, or allow public health workers to predict and track the spread of diseases. Professor Gonzalez joined CEE as an assistant professor in July 2009 with a joint appointment with the Engineering Systems Division. She was the finalist in the school-wide faculty search in transportation.
 

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  Sokol Celo, Suffolk University
Sokol Celo is assistant professor of Strategy & International Business at Suffolk University. Celo specializes in international business, managerial decision-making, and institutional change, and has more than 20 years of teaching experience. With a deep-rooted passion for education, Celo began his career as an assistant professor in mathematics. He later went on to work for several international organizations. He served as a project coordinator for the German Agency for Technical Cooperation and was the national project manager for the United Nations Development Programme in Albania. In 2006, Celo went back to school and earned his PhD in Management and International Business from Florida International University. While pursuing his doctorate degree, Celo taught management classes. Celo was one of six doctoral students to win the International Management Division's Most Promising Dissertation Proposal Award at the Academy of Management (AOM) annual meeting in Montreal in August 2010. His dissertation focused on how international investment decisions are made and how they affect the firm's performance. Celo's current research is building on expanding on these ideas. He is also involved in a project that uses the history of baseball as an empirical setting to understand the mechanisms underlying the process of institutional change.
 

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  Michail Bletsas, MIT Media Lab
Michail Bletsas is a Research Scientist and the Director of Computing at MIT's Media Lab where he has been working since 1996. He was one of the founding members of the "One Laptop Per Child" initiative where he made significant contributions to the design and implementation of OLPC's pioneering "XO" laptop as well as its Internet connectivity. He co-founded Velti S.A., a very successful mobile advertising and marketing company and has consulted for many companies in many different capacities. Over the years, he has implemented broadband access networks using cutting-edge technologies including one of the earliest ADSL testbeds and various wireless technologies. Mr. Bletsas has been a frequent keynote speaker in international conferences and has been engaged in many civic activities. He holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and an MSc degree in Computer Engineering from Boston University.
 

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  Greta Meszoely, Suffolk University
Greta Meszoely, is the Director of the Center for Business Complexity & Global Leadership, Associate Professor at the Sawyer Business School faculty and a fellow in the Center for Innovation and Change Leadership, as well as a Faculty Fellow of Service and Outreach and member of the Environmental Studies Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences at Suffolk. She as pursued her interest and research of complex problems and sustainable governance globally in business and society. She has been actively engaged in community and economic development in the US, women's rights and economic development in Zimbabwe, human rights in Egypt, democratic elections to support peace and development in Palestine, and water resources management in the Sahara. Through her study of complex problems and the characteristics of complex adaptive systems her research has led to her interest in developing fundamental management competencies necessary to support effective governance of sustainable systems.
Dr. Meszoely holds a PhD in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern University.
 

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  Stoyan Tanev, University of Southern Denmark
Dr. Stoyan Tanev is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Technology and Innovation and member of the Integrative Innovation Management (I2M) Research Unit at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Odense, Denmark. I2M is a research group operating across the faculties of social sciences and engineering and focusing on new innovation perspectives. Before joining the I2M unit at SDU in August 2009, Dr. Tanev was a Faculty member in the Technology Innovation Management Program, Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Stoyan Tanev has a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics (1995, jointly by the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, France), a M.Eng. in Technology Management (2005, Carleton University, Canada), and a M.A. (2009, University of Sherbrooke, Canada). Dr. Tanev is an expert in nanobiophotonics simulation and modeling. His current research interests are in the fields of technology innovation management and value co-creation strategies. Dr. Tanev teaches technology innovation, technology marketing and technology management courses in the M.Sc. Engineering program "Product Development and Innovation" at SDU.
 

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  Jukka-Pekka Onnela, the Medical School at Harvard University
Dr. Jukka-Pekka Onnela is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Medical School at Harvard University, under the supervision of Prof. Nicholas Christakis. Dr. Onnela is interested in a broad range of theoretical and applied problems in network science. His current research focuses on the statistical and mathematical analysis and modeling of social networks; metrics and methods for network analysis; network theory; and online social systems and social media.
Prior to joining the Medical School, He spent a year at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar. Earlier he held a Research Fellowship at Oxford University for two years. He is also currently a CABDyN Associate Fellow and an Associate Fellow at the Said Business School, Oxford University.
Dr. Onnela obtained his Ph.D. at Helsinki University of Technology in 2006. His doctoral dissertation Complex networks in the study of financial and social systems received the Dissertation of the Year Award from the university.
Common network structures?
Sometimes there,
in markets and in people too.
He is jponnela on Twitter.
 
  Davide De March, EvoSolutions Venice, Italy
Dr. De March obtained a Bachelor's degree (2003) and a Master's degree (2006) in Statistics from the University Ca' Foscari of Venice. His thesis focused on the use of neural network models in designing high dimensional experimentation, and Bayesian network model as a comparison. From 2005 to 2010, he collaborated with the University of Venice in the Department of Statistics on the European Project Programmable Artificial Cell Evolution (PACE) and on the Designing Informative Combinatorial Experiments (DICE) project. In 2011 he obtained a PhD in applied statistics at the University of Florence. During his Ph.D. he spent a period of rime at the SMSAS Department of the university of Kent (UK) and at Qforma (NM). His research interests are the optimization procedure for high dimensional problems and high dimensional design of experiments. He is developing bio-inspired algorithms, in particular using neural networks, to tackle that kind of problems. Davide De March founded EvoSolutions S.r.l. (www.evosolutions.it) with a few other researchers to develop new approaches combining optimization algorithms and advanced statistical models to learn and optimize complex and high dimensional data problems.
 

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  Charles Worrell, MITRE Corporation
Charles Worrell is a Principal Scientist at the MITRE Corporation in McLean, Virginia where he develops systems based on Bayesian Inference Networks to detect events such as disease outbreaks, accounting fraud, and other illicit activities for customers that range from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to the nation's Intelligence Community. His research interests include modeling systemic risk, automated detection of financial crimes, and simulating human decision making.
He started his career as an officer in the U.S. Navy, serving aboard ships in both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets and specializing in operations and telecommunications. Since that time, he has worked in Network Operations at Verizon and as Director of Systems Development at the American Automobile Association's (AAA) Response Services Center.
Dr. Worrell holds a Ph. D. in Information Technology from George Mason University, as well as degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Naval Postgraduate School.
 

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  Kun Zhao, Northeastern University
Kun Zhao is a 4th-year Ph.D. student in physics from Northeastern University, under the supervision of Professor Ginestra Bianconi, specilizing is network science and statistical physics. In his current research he is applying statistical methods to model the evolution of dynamical networks and quantifying the entropy of dynamical networks. His research also includes congestion and percolation problems in networks, evolutionary dynamics, and applying statistical physics to complex systems and other realistic problems.
 

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  Dany Bahar, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
Dany Bahar is a PhD candidate in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and a Doctoral Fellow at the Center for International Development (CID) of Harvard University. Dany was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela where he studied Systems Engineering. He then immigrated to Israel where he worked in both the public and private sector for five years. He enrolled in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he earned an MA degree in Economics, and at the same time worked as a research fellow in Falk Institute for Economic Research studying topics related to Foreign Aid and its side effects. He joined the MPA/ID program at Harvard Kennedy School in fall 2008 and shortly later joined the CID team as a research assistant to Prof. Ricardo Hausmann. After completing his MPA/ID degree in 2010, Dany joined the PhD program in HKS. His focus of research is in topics related to Development Economics, International Economics and more specifically, on the international forces shaping the productive structure of countries. Dany has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and other international organizations in Eastern Europe, Turkey, India and Latin America and the Caribbean.
 

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  Brian Peltonen, Fidelity Investments
Brian Peltonen is a sector specialist on the energy team at Fidelity Investments. His work has spanned artificial intelligence, artificial life, graphic visualization, agent based modeling, and the development of genetic algorithms to solve real world problems across a variety of industries. Currently, his work focuses on understanding drivers in global energy markets and their relation to equities.