Computer Science + Art = Art of Networks

by Dr. Ronaldo Menezes,  Assoc. Professor of Computer Science and Director of the BioComplex Laboratory

In the last decade we have seen the emergence of a new inter-disciplinary field aiming at studying Complex Networks. This new field is of particular interest to computer science majors since is it concentrates on understanding large networks which are dynamic, large, open, and have a structure that borders order and randomness. The field of complex networks has helped us better understand many complex phenomena such as the spread of disease, protein interaction, social relationships, to name but a few.

The “Art of Networks” exhibition at the Foosaner Art Museum was envisioned by myself and executed by Isabel Meirelles, associate professor of Graphic Design at Northeastern University in Boston. The exhibition aims at displaying artistic works that allow the general population to understand the science behind networks and how it helps us understand complicated phenomena. The Art of Networks brings together ten visualizations representing networks in topics as diverse as migration flows, speech cognition, citations, the spreading of social messages and housing issues in the U.S. The authors are representative of top visualization groups around the world who are producing some of the most innovative work in this area. The selected visualizations can literally open new ways of seeing and understanding relationships in the surrounding world and as a computer science professor, it has provided a unique experience.

Exhibits like this would not be possible without the involvement of our dedicated Foosaner staff, including Director of Museums, Carla Funk and Curator of Exhibitions, Jackie Borsanyi.

What pieces of the exhibit do you find the most visually appealing or interesting?

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