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Emilio Ferrara

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Research Assistant Professor of Computer Science


  • 2011, Doctoral Degree, Computer Science, University of Messina
  • 2008, Master's Degree, Computer Science, University of Messina
  • 2006, Bachelor's Degree, Computer Science, University of Messina


Dr. Emilio Ferrara is Research Assistant Professor at the Univerisity of Southern California and Research Leader at the USC Information Sciences Institute.

Ferrara's research interests include designing machine-learning systems to model and predict individual behavior in techno-social systems, characterize information diffusion and information campaigns, and predict crime and abuse in such environments.

He has held various visiting positions in institutions in Italy, Austria, and UK (2009-2012). Before joining USC in 2015, he was a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Informatics and Computing of Indiana University (2012-2015).

Ferrara holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Messina (Italy), and has published over 70 articles on machine learning, network science, and social media, appeared in top venues including PNAS, Communications of the ACM, Physical Review Letters, and several ACM and IEEE transactions and conferences.

His research on social network abuse and crime prediction has been featured on the major news outlets (TIME, BBC, The New York Times, etc.) and tech magazines (MIT Technology Review, Vice, Mashable, New Scientist, etc). He was named IBM Watson Big Data VIP Influencer in 2015, and ranked 28th as Big Data Experts to Follow in 2016 by Maptive. He received the 2016 DARPA Young Faculty Award, and the 2016 Complex System Society Junior Scientific Award.

He is Guest Editor of two special issues on computational social sciences, on EPJ Data Science and Future Internet. He serves as reviewer for top journals and member of the PC for conferences like ACM WWW, ICWSM, and SocInfo. Ferrara is General Co-chair of Social Informatics 2016, and of various workshops recurring at ECCS, WWW, SocInfo, and WebScience; he was Local & Sponsor Chair of ACM Web Science 2014 and Publicity Co-chair of SocInfo 2014.

He is a top 0.5% Kaggle competitor and participated in various data science competitions.

Research Summary

network science, data science, machine learning, computational social sciences


  • 2016 DARPA DARPA Young Faculty Award
  • 2016 City of Santa Monica SenseSaMo: The Digital Observatory for Realtime Monitoring of Well-Being in the City of Santa Monica
  • 2015 Office of Naval Research Bot Detection in Novel Information Environments
  • Director, Informatics (B.A. Program)
  • Computer Science

  • ISI 933
  • Information Science Institute
  • 4676 Admiralty Way Marina Del Rey Ca 90292
  • USC Mail Code: 0

Contact Information
  • (310) 448-8661
  • ferrarae@isi.edu


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