We are now co-evolving with artificial intelligence agents at the individual, organizational, and social levels … our actions both shape and are shaped by them! For those reasons alone, I am enthusiastic about studying how AI can be used to promote prosocial behavior.

– Babak Heydari, Core Faculty, EAI

Babak Heydari is an associate professor at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and the affiliate faculty at the School of Public Policy and the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University. As part of his many responsibilities at NU, he is also the director of the Multi-AGent Intelligent Complex Systems (MAGICS) Lab.

Heydari’s interdisciplinary research focuses on modeling, design, and governance of sociotechnical systems in which social behavior interacts and co-evolves with technology, especially with the behavior of AI agents. He is focused on establishing a bridge between computational social sciences and AI research, using network science and machine learning to study not only the architecture of sociotechnical and human-AI systems, but also resilience and its relationship with the emergence of collective behavior and social norms, platform-based sharing economy systems and the co-evolution of structure and behavior in complex systems.

He received his Masters and Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley and has racked up three years of Silicon Valley start-up experience. Over the course of his career, Heydari has been the PI and Co-PI of several projects sponsored through NSF, DARPA, IARPA, INCOSE, SERC, and a number of private corporations. In addition to these demonstrated successes, he is a recipient of the national science foundation CAREER award and the president of the Council of Engineering Systems Scholars and Universities (CESUN).