Noshir Contractor is the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management and Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University.
Professor Contractor has been at the forefront of three emerging interdisciplines: network science, computational social science and web science. He is investigating how social and knowledge networks form – and perform - in contexts including business, scientific communities, healthcare and space travel. His research has been funded continuously for 25 years by the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, NASA, DARPA, Army Research Laboratory and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
His book Theories of Communication Networks (co-authored with Peter Monge) received the 2003 Book of the Year award from the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association. He is a Fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He also received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Communication Association and the Lifetime Service Award from the Organizational Communication & Information Systems Division of the Academy of Management. In 2018 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras where he received a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California.
Publications, Awards, and More
Current Research Grants and Funding
- The Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group advances social network theories, methods, and tools to better understand and meet the needs of diverse communities. SONIC develops cutting-edge techniques to study and improve social and knowledge networks in distributed working groups, online communities, virtual teams, and other large communities. Using a comprehensive methodology, SONIC researchers model, assess, validate, and enable the emergence of social and knowledge networks. SONIC helps communities discover their existing communication and knowledge networks, diagnose their network’s health by measuring its robustness, connectedness, bottlenecks, etc., and design the social incentives and technical infrastructure needed for networks to function at optimal effectiveness. For more information visit sonic.northwestern.edu