Scale-Free Complex Networks: Albert-László Barabási, Ph.D.

This SftPublic Spotlight recording of Albert-László Barabási was taped at the Center for Complex Network Research lab at Northeastern University on Aug 05, 2013.

Albert-László Barabási, PhD, Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Northeastern University Center for Complex Network Research. Professor Barabási is a faculty member of Northeastern University's College of Computer and Information Science and the Departments of Physics and Biology. He is also affiliated with the Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

You might know Albert-László Barabási as the author of the best-seller book, Linked: The New Science of Networks. Professor Barabási’s seminal work led to the understanding of the common structure of diverse complex systems: natural, technological, and social. Familiar examples include the World Wide Web, social networks, and disease patterns.

He has received numerous prestigious awards for his scale-free networks model, which, because it reveals the mathematical core of complex systems, is considered a paradigm shift. It explains explains how complex systems emerge, why they have a consistent (hub) structure, and why scale-free networks are powerful predictors.

In this program Dr.Barabási talks about the discovery of scale-free networks, their hub structure, and the development of the Barabási-Albert model. The program will explore how complex networks emerge and function. We'll see how apparently disparate category items are actually related, as in the now-famous "diseasome."

Dr. Barabási's work has been featured in distinguished journals such as Nature, Science, and Science News. He also has been featured in leading newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Die Zeit, El Pais, Le Monde, London’s Daily Telegraph, National Geographic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, New Scientist,and La Republica. He has been interviewed on BBC Radio, National Public Radio, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and NBC.

A-L Barabasi awarded the Cozarelli Prize


  • American Physical Society, Fellow
  • 2013 Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, Fellow
  • 2011 American Academy of the Advancement of Science, Fellow (Physics)
  • 2011 Lagrange Prize-CRT Foundation (for contributions to complex systems)
  • 2011 Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • 2009 American Physical Society, Outstanding Referee
  • 2009 Cozzarelli Prize, US National Academies of Sciences
  • 2008 C&C Prize, the NEC C&C Foundation
  • 2007 Academia Europaea, Member
  • 2006 John von Neumann Medal by the John von Neumann Computer Society of Hungary
  • 2005 FEBS Anniversary Prize for Systems Biology
  • 2004 Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Member

Books by A-L Barabasi. Professor Barabási is the author of both technical and popular books. His best-seller (2002) Linked: The New Science of Networks has been published in eleven languages, and Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do (2010) has been translated into five languages. Here is link to Prof. Barabasi's work-in-progress, an innovative online introductory textbook on networks (free to the world!) He is also the co-author of Fractal Concepts in Surface Growth and the co-editor of The Structure and Dynamics of Networks. His work-in-progress, an online textbook, can be examined on his website.