Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam is Founding President of the New England Complex Systems Institute. His research focuses on developing complex systems concepts and applying them to diverse areas of scientific inquiry and to major social problems.
He has developed quantitative models for a wide variety of complex system behaviors including network dynamics, market instability and the current financial crisis, negotiation, economic development, pandemics and invasive species, ethnic violence, global food crises, and biological cell function and regulation.
He has worked on fundamental properties of evolution and learning, the evolutionary origins of altruism and collective behaviors, the relationship between observations at different scales, the relationship of structure and function, information as a physical quantity, and quantitative properties of the complexity of real systems. Applications have been to social, biological and physical systems.
He has applied both quantitative models and fundamental principles to the prevention of ethnic violence, opportunities in global development, healthcare system transformation, education system reform, complex systems engineering, and military operations in asymmetric warfare.
Professor Bar-Yam has advised government agencies, non-governmental organizations and corporations about solving problems using principles and insights from complex systems science. These include The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, a wide variety of healthcare organizations, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the UN, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the US military (Navy, Air Force, Army and Department of Defense) and intelligence community (CIA, NSA, TSA) and military and civilian engineering corporations (Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, SAIC). He has advised Congressman Barney Frank as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, and Congressman Michael Capuano on the financial crises. He is a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
He has been engaged in the education of complex systems concepts to academic, executive and professional audiences with over 2,000 graduates of his courses nationally and internationally.
His textbook "Dynamics of Complex Systems," published in 1997 by Perseus Press, provides a wide-ranging perspective on the understanding of complex systems. His popular book "Making Things Work" describes the use of complex systems science for solving problems in military, healthcare, education, systems engineering, international development, and ethnic violence.
He is chairman of the International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS), managing editor of InterJournal and Springer book series on complexity, and author of over 180 research papers in professional journals, including in Science, Nature, PNAS, American Naturalist, and Physical Review Letters.
His work has been described in The Wall Street Journal, Science News, Washington Post, Wired Magazine, New Scientist, London’s Daily Telegraph, Slate Magazine, Seed Magazine, Technology Review, Reuters, Gizmodo, among others. He has been interviewed by BBC Radio, ABC News, and other media outlets.
He has also contributed important work to the dynamics of material growth (including the growth of high quality diamonds), defects and disordered materials, protein folding, neural networks and models of human creativity, individuality and attention.
Professor Bar-Yam received his SB and PhD in physics from MIT in 1978 and 1984 respectively.