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'From the Web to human diseases,' UH talk uncovers network similarities

HOUSTON, Oct. 2, 2008 Comparing such diverse networks as the Internet and the human cell, Albert-Lszl Barabsi explains the mathematical foundation behind what he calls "the highly interconnected web of life." Barabsi will give a lecture titled "Network Science: From the Web to Human Diseases" at the University of Houston.

As part of the UH Tenneco Distinguished Lecture Series, Barabsi, Distinguished Professor and Director of Northeastern University's Center for Network Science, will be speaking at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9 in Room 232 of Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall on the UH campus. The hour-long lecture is free and open to the public.

In his talk, he will address how the evolution of such complex, seemingly incongruous networks is united by similar complexities. Barabsi is known for using accessible language and concrete explanations laced with a special brand of humor.

"Recent studies indicate that the evolution of these complex networks is governed by simple but generic laws, resulting in apparently universal architectural features," Barabsi said. "I will discuss the amazing order characterizing our interconnected work, its implications on various phenomena from robustness to complex systems and its applications to communication and medicine."

Barabsi's seminal studies on complex networks demonstrated the existence of common characteristics in a wide range of disciplines, including chaos and fractals, materials science, biophysics and social networks. He has published five books, six major review articles and nearly 200 research publications. He is a member of the American Physical Society and was awarded the prestigious John von Neumann Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for his outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology.

Inaugurated in 1986 and administered by the UH Center for Public History, the Tenneco Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible by grants from Tenneco Inc. and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and physics department are co-sponsoring Barabsi's appearance.

Albert-Lszl Barabsi, renowned physicist

Tenneco Distinguished Lecture

5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9

University of Houston
Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall
Room 232
Entrance 14 off Cullen Boulevard


Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

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