Yaneer Bar-Yam

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Yaneer Bar-Yam
Yaneer Bar-Yam preparing for his talk on Day 2 of Wikimania 2014.jpg
Bar-Yam (on the left) at Wikimania 2014
Born1959 (age 59–60)
EducationMassachusetts Institute of Technology (SB, PhD)
Scientific career
FieldsComplex systems (Application to social, biological and physical systems)
InstitutionsNew England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) (1997-today)
Boston University (1991-1997)
ThesisMicroscopic Theory of the Dynamics of Defects in Semiconductors. (1984)
Doctoral advisorJohn Dimitris Joannopoulos
Doctoral studentsErik Rauch

Yaneer Bar-Yam (born 1959) is an American physicist, systems scientist, and founding president of the New England Complex Systems Institute.


Yaneer Bar-Yam was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a Jewish family in 1959. He received his B.S. degree in 1978 and his Ph.D. degree in 1984, both in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a Bantrell PostDoctoral Fellow, and a joint postdoctoral fellow at MIT and IBM. In 1991, after a junior faculty appointment at the Weizmann Institute, he became an Associate Professor of Engineering at Boston University.

He left Boston University in 1997 to become president of the New England Complex Systems Institute. He is also an Associate of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. He is chairman of the International Conference on Complex Systems and managing editor of InterJournal.[1][2][3][4]


Bar-Yam studies the unified properties of complex systems as a systematic strategy for answering basic questions about the world. His research is focused both on formalizing complex systems concepts and relating them to everyday problems. In particular, he studies the relationship between observations at different scales, formal properties of descriptions of systems, the relationship of structure and function, the representation of information as a physical quantity, and quantitative properties of the complexity of real systems. Applications have been to physical, biological, and social systems.[1][2][3][4][5]

Bar-Yam has made further contributions to the theory of the structural and electronic dynamics of materials, the theory of polymer dynamics and protein folding, the theory of neural networks and structure-function relationships, the theory of quantitative multiscale complexity, and the theory of evolution.[1]


Professor Bar-Yam is the author and/or editor of several books as well as the author of more than 180 research papers in professional journals, including in Science, Nature, PNAS, American Naturalist, and Physical Review Letters.[6][7]


  • Dynamics of Complex Systems. New York: Perseus Books. 1997. ISBN 978-0-2015-5748-0.
  • Making Things Work: Solving Complex Problems in a Complex World. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Knowledge Press. 2005. ISBN 978-0-9656-3282-9.
As editor
  • Bar-Yam, Y.; Egami, T.; Mustre-Ed Leon, J.; Bishop, A. R. (1992). Lattice Effects in High-Tc Superconductors: Proceedings of the Conference, Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 13-15, 1992. Cambridge, Massachusetts: World Scientific Pub Co Inc. ISBN 978-9-8102-0970-4.
  • Bar-Yam, Y. (2000). Unifying Themes in Complex Systems, Volume 1: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Complex Systems. New York: Perseus Books. ISBN 978-0-7382-0049-1.
  • Bar-Yam, Y.; Minai, A. A. (2003). Unifying Themes in Complex Systems, Volume 2: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Complex Systems. New York: Perseus Books. ISBN 978-0-8133-4124-8.
  • Lagi, M.; Bar-Yam, Yavni; Bertrand, K. Z.; Bar-Yam, Yaneer (2012). Economics of Food Prices and Crises. Cambridge, Massachusetts: New England Complex Systems Institute. ISBN 978-0-9656328-5-0.
  • vos Fellman, P.; Bar-Yam, Y.; Minai, A. A. (2015). Conflict and Complexity: Countering Terrorism, Insurgency, Ethnic and Regional Violence. New York: Springer. ISBN 978-1-4939-1704-4.
  • Bar-Yam, Y. (1978). The MIT three-element radio interferometer (miniferometer) and observations of Saturn at 1.35 cm. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Physics. SB Thesis.
  • Bar-Yam, Y. (1984). Microscopic Theory of the Dynamics of Defects in Semiconductors. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Physics. PhD Thesis.


  1. ^ a b c Yaneer Bar-Yam, New England Complex Systems Institute website, 2007.
  2. ^ a b [1] Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation website, 2012.
  3. ^ a b [2] UMass Dartmouth, Kaput Center website, 2012.
  4. ^ a b [3] Rotman, "Bar-Yam: Balancing Scale with Complexity", Forbes India, Sept 16, 2010.
  5. ^ [4] "Complexity, Democracy, and Sustainability", Programs and Abstracts, The 50th Anniversary Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, Sonoma State University, 2006.
  6. ^ NESCI profile of Yaneer Bar-Yam
  7. ^ NESCI Books.

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