Jukka-Pekka Onnela

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Jukka-Pekka Onnela
Jukka-Pekka Onnela.jpg
Jukka-Pekka Johannes Onnela

Oulu, Finland
Alma materHelsinki University of Technology
Known forStatistical Network Science, Digital Phenotyping, Beiwe Research Platform
AwardsNIH Director's New Innovator Award (2013)
Scientific career
FieldsComplex Systems, Network Science, Digital Phenotyping
InstitutionsHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
ThesisComplex networks in the study of financial and social systems (2006)
Doctoral advisorKimmo Kaski

Jukka-Pekka Onnela is a Finnish statistical network scientist. He is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Health Data Science Program. Onnela is known for his pioneering research using cell phone data in network science.[1] He was awarded the NIH Director's New Innovator Award in 2013 for his work in digital phenotyping.

Early life and education[edit]

Onnela was born in Oulu in 1976 and spent his youth in Kokkola. At age 16, he was awarded a national scholarship to attend the United World College of the Atlantic where he earned his International Baccalaureate. In 2002, he earned his M.Sc. in computational science from the Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University) and obtained his D.Sc. there in network science in 2006. His doctoral dissertation, titled Complex Networks in the Study of Financial and Social Systems, received dissertation of the year award from the university.[2] He subsequently spent two years at the University of Oxford as a Junior Research Fellow, a year at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar, and two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School.[citation needed] In 2011, he joined the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University as an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2017. He directs the Onnela Lab which focuses on statistical network science and digital phenotyping.


Starting in 2005, Onnela began using cell phone data to study human social behavior. His research focuses on statistical network science and digital phenotyping, defined as the “moment-by-moment quantification of the individual-level human phenotype in situ using data from personal digital devices,” in particular smartphones.[3][4] He was awarded a U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award in 2013 for his work in digital phenotyping.[5]


The Beiwe Research Platform for high-throughput smartphone-based digital phenotyping is one of a class of mobile phone based sensing softwares. It was developed by the Onnela Lab between 2013 and 2018 with funding from the National Institutes of Health. It is an open-source (under 3-clause BSD license) research platform intended for biomedical research which includes iOS and Android smartphone apps. The platform is named after Beaivi, the Sami deity of the fertility and sanity.


  1. ^ Onnela, Jukka-Pekka; Saramäki, J..; Hyvönen, J.; Szabó, G.; Lazer, D.; Kaski, K.; Kertész, J.; Barabási, A.-L. (2007). "Structure and tie strengths in mobile communication networks". PNAS. arXiv:physics/0610104.
  2. ^ Onnela, Jukka-Pekka. "Complex networks in the study of financial and social systems". Helsinki University of Technology Laboratory of Computational Engineering publications.
  3. ^ "Your phone knows how you feel". Harvard Public Health Magazine. 2016-07-19. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  4. ^ Torous, John; Kiang, Mathew V.; Lorme, Jeanette; Onnela, Jukka-Pekka (2016). "New Tools for New Research in Psychiatry: A Scalable and Customizable Platform to Empower Data Driven Smartphone Research". JMIR Mental Health. 3 (2): e16. doi:10.2196/mental.5165. PMC 4873624. PMID 27150677.
  5. ^ "JP Onnela wins NIH Director's New Innovator Award". News. 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2017-06-27.