Category: News

NetSci High Featured on Stelar

August 26th, 2014 in #DataNetSciK20, News

This summer, twenty four students had an opportunity to meet Dr. Alex “Sandy” Pentland from MIT’s Media Lab, Dr. Gene Stanley from Boston University’s Center for Polymer Studies, and other researchers to learn about current applications in network science. The goal of ITEST’s Network Science for the Next Generation – known as “NetSci High” – is to immerse high school students and teachers in the burgeoning field of network science through a yearlong research experience. Each year, NetSci High begins with an intensive 10-day summer workshop where students and teachers are introduced to network science concepts, learn programming skills in Python, and practice creating basic network models using visualization software. At the end of this summer’s workshop, eleven student teams who had just completed their year-long NetSci High research projects during the previous school year took the floor to present their work. The projects represented the interdisciplinary nature of network science and its ability to draw students of all interests into STEM fields. Titles of their research topics included:

  • A Network Analysis of Foreign Aid Based on Bias of Political Ideologies
  • Comparing Two Human Disease Networks: Gene-Based and Symptom-Based Perspectives
  • Influence at the 1787 Constitutional Convention
  • Quantifying Similarity of Benign and Oncogenic Viral Proteins Using Amino Acid Sequence
  • Quantification of Character and Plot in Contemporary Fiction
  • RedNet: A Different Perspective of Reddit
  • Tracking Tweets for the Superbowl

During the upcoming 2014/15 academic year, research lab faculty and graduate student mentors will guide the new student teams through the research process. They will participate in data collection, data processing, network modeling, and analysis, using freely available computer tools. The teams will further explore how to visualize different types of networks, calculate network statistics, and describe network processes, and will then analyze the data to find answers to their specific research questions. Students will also visit the New York Hall of Science, the Network Science Center at the United States Military Academy West Point, and Stevens Institute of Technology in order to broaden their exposure to current network science research.

NetSci High has opened doors for me that would not be open without the program. I have continued to work with computer science as well as network science. I am currently working with [grad student] to map out the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Thank you once again and I hope to hear from you soon. – J.I., member of 2013/14 New York metro area team.

We are proud that the NetSci High project has garnered scholarships for student participants, fostered student-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, and supported student teams in presenting research posters at the International NetSci conferences in Budapest, Hungary; Chicago, Illinois; and Berkeley, California. As the NetSci High organizers, we look forward to increasing network science literacy through continued student research opportunities, broader teacher training, and publishing a Network Science Workshop Training Manual for other groups to use.

This is a reprint of an article appearing on the: STEM Learning and Research Center.

NetSciEd3 Berkeley

June 3rd, 2014 in #DataNetSciK20, News

NetSciEd3 was held June 2, 2014 at the NetSci International Conference at University California Berkeley. The satellite workshop focussed on network science teaching and learning at all levels of formal and informal education, as well as how network science helps inform and understand learning processes and organizations.

The morning included presentations, posters, and a hands-on working roundtable in which we collaboratively attempted to map NetSci concepts to formal curriculum frameworks.

Topics included:

  • Teaching Teachers Network Science Concepts
  • Network Science in K-16 Practice and Policy
  • Network Science in Informal Education
  • Tools for Teaching Network Science
  • New Directions in Learning Science
  • Developing Metrics for Effective Educational Collaboration Networks

Visit: NetSciEd3

NetSciEd2 Copenhagen

June 3rd, 2013 in #DataNetSciK20, News

The Second NetSci Satellite Symposium on Network Science in Education (NetSciEd2) at NetSci 2013 in Copenhagen followed the success of the first NetSciEd held last year, and focussed on how to expand network science-oriented educational outreach on a global scale. NetSciEd2 sought to identify trends in the use of network science to investigate the structure of educational networks, as well as exploring how to infuse network science into teaching and learning environments to help inform education policy. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Network Science in K-16 Practice and Policy
  • Network Science in Informal Education
    Developing Metrics for Effective Educational Collaboration Networks

For more information visit: NetSciEd2

Summer 2013 Workshop & Conference

May 7th, 2013 in #DataNetSciK20, Events, News

Planning for our Summer 2013 workshop and conference is underway.

Our workshop will be July 15 – 24, 2013 at Boston University’s Science Center (590 Commonwealth Avenue).

The broad schedule is:

  • Monday, July 15 and Tuesday July 16: Teacher Focus Workshop

  • Wednesday, July 17: Welcome, Class of 2013 Conference, Keynotes

  • Thursday, July 18 to Wednesday July 24: Workshop

More information is available at Get Involved.

Newburgh Student-Teacher Teams Visit West Point

December 6th, 2012 in #DataNetSciK20, News

Several cadets and NSC faculty members met with students, teachers, and family members from Newburgh Free Academy to share a few of the many network science (NS) projects cadets are conducting at West Point. Cadets gave presentations on research they have recently completed and also offered the students some advice based on lessons they learned in the process. Faculty members shared their insight into why a network approach can offer a new perspective to problems. This was extremely valuable because the Newburgh students are beginning their own NS research project with their teachers.

In addition to the presentation, cadets also took the visitors on a tour of the academic area. Students got a chance to see the classrooms and buildings and ask the cadets questions about what life is like at the academy. By the end of the day all of the visitors had a deeper appreciation for the academy, faculty and especially the work done by the cadets.

For the entire story and pictures, visit: The Central Node (at West Point’s Network Science Center)

NetSci High Group Photo

September 13th, 2012 in #DataNetSciK20, Multimedia, News

Our NetSci High Workshop was a blast! Twenty high school students from New York and Boston, as well as teachers, graduate students and scientists came together for a hands-on workshop at BU from August 21-25. Students experienced an immersive introduction to network science, completed small group projects, and prepared for an academic year of research.

NetSci High Summer Workshop Nearing

August 3rd, 2012 in #DataNetSciK20, News

The NetSci High Workshop at Boston University will soon be upon us! We will welcome 20 high school students, teachers and graduate students to Boston for an exciting week from August 21 through 25.

All accepted students and teachers to the program have been e-mailed the link for online Registration as well as a Parent/Guardian Permission Form and detailed program information.

NetSciEd Satellite Symposium on Education

June 27th, 2012 in #DataNetSciK20, News

NetSci group-photoWith a focus on preparing the next generation of network scientists and addressing the urgent need to improve STEM education overall, the first symposium to specifically address how network science will transform STEM education was held on June 18 in conjunction with the 2012 International School and Conference on Network Science (NetSci 2012) . The Satellite Symposium titled Education: Infuse Network Science into K-12 and Undergraduate Education (NetSciEd) included preeminent speakers from education practice and research as well as the network science community. The symposium was an exciting and highly successful step toward establishing this much-needed focus on Network Science Education.

For more details on the symposium, with included presentations, visit the NetSciEd Satellite Symposium on Education @ NetSci2012

NetSciEd Satellite Symposium @ NetSci 2012

May 15th, 2012 in #DataNetSciK20, Events

In anticipation of preparing the next generation of network scientists, as well as addressing the urgent needs in improving STEM education overall, we are hosting the first symposium to specifically address how network science will transform STEM education in the coming years. The Satellite Symposium Education — Infuse Network Science into K-12 and Undergraduate Education (NetSciEd) will include preeminent speakers from education practice and research as well as the network science community, culminating in a highly interactive panel discussion to determine directions in support of research and practice in the use of network science to improve education.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Network Science in K-16 Practice and Policy
  • Network Science in Informal Education
  • New Directions in Learning Science
  • Developing Metrics for Effective Educational Collaboration Networks

A white paper will be developed from the input of all participants to characterize the session and be used to help communicate ideas and needs of the educational community to academic and government decision- and policy-makers.

This symposium will take place on June 18th at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, in conjunction with the 2012 International School and Conference on Network Science (NetSci 2012). The attendance to the NetSciEd symposium is free of charge for NetSci 2012 attendees.

For more information visit: NetSciEd Satellite Symposium

New Program Engages High School Students in Science Research

May 11th, 2012 in #DataNetSciK20, News

Boston University’s Center for Polymer Studies and The New York Hall of Science  have been funded $1.2M by the National Science Foundation’s Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) Program. CAS Professor of Physics Gene Stanley (director of the Polymer Center) and Polymer Center Senior Research Scientist Paul Trunfio will head the project for BU. The project, Network Science for the Next Generation, known as “NetSci High,” will provide extensive opportunities for disadvantaged high school students to engage in year-round cutting-edge science research and industry internships.

Participants are 120 disadvantaged high school students from the Boston area and New York area, 30 science research graduate student mentors from partner laboratories, and 30 high school STEM teacher-mentors. An exciting new area of research applies network science, including cyber-infrastructures and computational and database approaches, to solve some of the most complex problems facing our society today. This shift in research with its extensive reliance on information technology tools and datasets, requires a corresponding shift in the education community that helps prepare the next generation of STEM workforce.

Highlights of this funded 3-year program include:

  • 1-week Summer Camp for all participants, introducing tools of network science and explorations of team-based research projects
  • 4-week intensive summer research experience at participating laboratories
  • Academic year research program utilizing collaborative IT tools, periodic special workshops, industry lab tours and “virtual visits”
  • ITEST NetSci Research Conference held at BU where students present the results of their work at the end of the year long experience with keynotes and an “IT Opportunity Fair” hosted by local industry partners
  • Summer IT internships with industry and academic partners

This experience is funded to repeat for three years, with 30 high school students in the first year, 40 in the second, and 50 in the third (and appropriate scaling of other participants). A challenge of this project is one of transforming the way we educate our citizens to keep pace with not only the amount of data we collect, but to appreciate how networks of data interact to identify, clarify, and solve complex 21st century challenges in the environment, medicine, agriculture, urbanization, social justice and wellbeing. This project will provide a pathway to integration of science research and IT skills for high school students who would not otherwise have opportunities provided through this project. Additionally, high school teachers and graduate student mentors (ITEST Fellows) will be key participants. For 30 ITEST Fellows, they will gain valuable experience in the issues surrounding K-12 science education and gain an appreciation for education outreach. Up to 30 high school teacher mentors will broaden their STEM understanding and, through their participation, the project aims to inform their current teaching in terms of content and practice.

For more information, contact Paul Trunfio at

See also: NetSci High 2012 Flyer