Understanding complex networked systems is key to solving some of the most vexing problems confronting humankind, from discovering how dynamic brain connections give rise to thoughts and behaviors, to detecting and preventing the spread of misinformation or unhealthy behaviors across a population. Graduate training, however, typically occurs in one of two dimensions: experimental and observational methods in a specific area such as biology and sociology, or in general methodologies such as machine learning and data science.
With more and more students seeking to gain sufficient expertise in mathematical and computational methods on top of domain-specific laboratory and social analysis methodologies, a greater demand for more efficient training is emerging. This National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) award to Indiana University will address this growing need with an integrated dual PhD program that trains students to be "bidisciplinary" in Complex Networks and Systems (CNS) and another discipline of their choosing from the natural and social sciences. It will seamlessly integrate traditional education with interdisciplinary hands-on research in a culture of academic and human diversity.