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 at Northwestern University, USA. He is the Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University. He is investigating factors that lead to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in a wide variety of contexts including communities of practice in business, translational science and engineering communities, public health networks and virtual worlds. His research program has been funded continuously for over 15 years by major grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional current funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, Air Force Research Lab, Army Research Institute, Army Research Laboratory, the Gates Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.
Professor Contractor has published or presented over 250 research papers dealing with communicating and organizing. His book titled Theories of Communication Networks (co-authored with Professor Peter Monge and published by Oxford University Press, and translated into simplified Chinese in 2009) received the 2003 Book of the Year award from the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association. In 2014 he received the National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar Award recognizing a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication. In 2015 he was elected as a Fellow of the International Communication Association. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Syndio, which offers organizations products and services based on network analytics.
Professor Contractor has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and a 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