I am a Scientist at the University of Vermont (UVM). Together with Chris Danforth, I co-run the Computational Story Lab.

I am the Director of the Vermont Complex Systems Center at UVM (VCSC). I'm a Full Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics which is part of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at UVM. I'm also a visiting faculty fellow at the Vermont Advanced Computing Core (VACC).

In my research and teaching, I focus on system-level, big data problems of all kinds, often networked, sociotechnical ones. I have general interests in stories/narratives, complexification, contagion, and robustness, and a long term goal to understand a Theory of Anything.

I have a hybrid educational and training background of theoretical physics, mathematics, electrical engineering, and the social sciences.

My major initial funding was an NSF CAREER award to study sociotechnical phenomena (2009–2015). My work has also been supported by the McDonnell Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, NASA, and the MITRE Corporation.

My publications have appeared in many realms including sociology, psychology, language, biology, ecology, and Earth systems, and my work has received global press coverage.

We do good things:

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Join the Computational Story Lab:

We are always looking for new, awesome students (grads and undergrads) and postdocs to join our team, the Computational Story Lab. Feel free to make your pitch.


We can help with all sorts of things: spreading messages and becoming famous (beyond marketing), finding stuff through social search, measuring happiness, uncovering stories in data-rich worlds, and more. Send us a message.

Previous aboutness, telescopically:

Previously, I was a Research Scientist and before that a Postdoc at Columbia University, first within the Columbia Earth Institute and later as part of the Collective Dynamics Group, which I helped Duncan Watts run. Our group was housed within the Institute for Social & Economic Research and Policy (ISERP).

Before all that, I was a member of Dan Rothman's group in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) and was a graduate student in the Applied Math Program in the Mathematics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Way, way, back when, I earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Melbourne in Science (double major in Math and Physics) and Electrical Engineering, and a Master in Science (again with the physics and the math).

I was a boarder at Ballarat Grammar School for my final three years of high school, having earlier attended Nhill School and, even earlier, Netherby Primary School.