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Mark Newman Distinguished Speaker Series
John Wiley Jones Distinguished Lecture in Science


Monday, April 30, 2007, 7:00 p.m.       70-1400    B. Thomas Golisano Auditorium


Mark E Newman, PhD

The Internet, Epidemics, and Kevin Bacon: The Science of Networks

There are networks in almost every part of our lives. Some of them are familiar and obvious: the Internet, the power grid, the road network. Others are less obvious but just as important. The patterns of friendships or acquaintances between people form a social network. The species in an ecosystem join together to form a food web. The workings of the body's cells are dictated by a metabolic network of chemical reactions. In recent years, sociologists, physicists, biologists, and others have learned how to probe these networks and uncover their structure, shedding light on the inner workings of systems ranging from bacteria to the whole of human society. This lecture will look at some new discoveries regarding networks, how these discoveries were made, and what they tell us about the way the world works.
Dr. Newman received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford in 1991. After doing postdoctoral work at Cornell University, he joined the faculty of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, where he was a research professor until moving to the University of Michigan in 2002.

Dr. Newman is currently Associate Professor of Physics and Complex Systems at Michigan, holding a joint appointment in the Physics Department and the Center for the Study of Complex Systems. His research focuses particularly on social networks, network epidemiology, and computer algorithms for network analysis.

Dr. Newman’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Esquire Magazine, and the Discovery Channel. He is the author of five books and over a hundred scientific papers.