YANEER BAR-YAM

President and Professor, NECSI

Prof. Yaneer Bar-Yam received his SB and PhD in physics from MIT in 1978 and 1984 respectively. Since the late 1980s he has contributed to founding the field of complex systems science, introducing fundamental mathematical rigor, real world application, and educational programs for new concepts and insights of this field.

In developing new mathematical methods and in their application he has published on a wide range of scientific and real world problems ranging from cell biology to the global financial crisis.

He is the author of two books: a textbook Dynamics of Complex Systems, and Making Things Work, which applies complex systems science to solving problems in healthcare, education, systems engineering, international development, and ethnic conflict.

He has been a Visiting Scholar at Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He is currently Research Scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory.

ALFREDO J. MORALES

Assistant Professor, NECSI

Prof. Alfredo J. Morales received his MSc and PhD in Physics of Complex Systems from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. He contributes to building a better understanding of social systems by developing computational and analytical methods based on complex systems science and data science.

Morales' work is at the intersection of computer science, statistics, applied physics and artificial intelligence. He analyzes large datasets that result from human activity on social media, internet, mobile phones or purchases in order to retrieve unstructured patterns of collective behaviors that explain large scale societal properties, such as social dynamics, urban dynamics, segregation, political engagement, political polarization and social influence. 

He is currently a Visiting Researcher at the MIT Media Laboratory.

NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB

Visiting speaker - Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering, NYU and External Professor, NECSI

Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent 21 years as a risk taker (quantitative  trader) before becoming a researcher in philosophical, mathematical and (mostly) practical problems with probability.  

Taleb is the author of a multivolume essay, the Incerto (The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, and Skin in the Game) covering broad facets of uncertainty. It has been translated into 36 languages. 

In addition to his trader life, Taleb has also written, as a backup of the Incerto, more than 50 scholarly papers in statistical physics, statistics, philosophy, ethics, economics, international affairs, and quantitative finance, all around the notion of risk and probability.  

Taleb is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering (only a quarter time position). His current focus is on the properties of systems that can handle disorder ("antifragile"). 

Taleb refuses all honors and anything that "turns knowledge into a spectator sport".