Director of SONIC Research Group
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 20 years by major grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, DARPA, Air Force Research Lab, Army Research Institute, Army Research Laboratory, Army Research Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.
Professor Contractor has published or presented over 250 research papers dealing with communicating and organizing. He has been at the intellectual and institutional forefront of three emerging interdisciplines: network science, computational social science and web science. 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. In 2018 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He received a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California.