Hyejin Youn

Assistant Professor
Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60208 USA

RSA Fellow (FRSA)
Royal Society of Arts
London, UK

External Fellow
London Mathematical Laboratory
London, UK

Email: hyejin.youn [at] kellogg [dot] northwestern [dot] edu
Curriculum Vitae: cv.pdf

I am an assistant professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO). I was a research fellow at Santa Fe Institute and Harvard Kennedy School, and visiting scientist at MIT Media Lab. Before that, I was a senior research fellow at Mathematical Institute at University of Oxford , and Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School; and ran a National Science Foundation grant (USA) to study Technological Change from the Map of Capabilities with Aaron Cluaset, the University of Colorado at Boulder [link]. My PhD is in Statistical Physics at KAIST. I serve on the editorial board of PLOS One.

My research aims to develop a mathematical and computational framework to understand complex systems. These include (see the detail here):

Please visit my publication page or Google scholar profile for the more details on my publications.


  • Plenary talk at International Conference on Complex Systems July 26, 2018 in Boston [link]

  • Keynote at International Conference of Artificial Life July 22, 2018 in Tokyo [link]

  • Our work on urban morpholoy in Nature communication is chosen as an Editor's pick for a good complex system work [link].

  • How BIG DATA can help our understanding of language evolution beyond applications? Our new paper will tell you all about it! Studying language evolution in the age of big data" in Journal of Language Evolution 3:2, 94–129 [link]

  • "How Will Automation Affect Different U.S. Cities?" is featured in Kellogg Insight with beautiful interactive data platforms [link].

  • We made a cover page of J. R. Soc. Interface: Small cities face greater impact from automation [link][MIT Technology Review][New Scientist]

  • Journal Club on "Interplay between Society and Technology" at 16.00 on every Friday (KGH 4418) [link]

  • Morphology of travel routes and the organization of cities, appears in Nature Communications [link]

  • Analysing Physics text books (Griffith, Hewitt, and Knight), and Oxford dictionary to see how concepts (terminologies) appear in reading stream Dynamic burstiness of word-occurrence and network modularity in textbook systems, Physica A 487:103-110 [link]

  • Demographics and Democracy: A Network Analysis of Mongolians’ Political Cognition , appears in Journal of Anthropological Research 73:617-646 [link].

  • My first anthropology paper, the ecological and evolutionary energetics of hunter-gatherer residential mobility, appears in Evolutionary Anthropology 25:124–132 [link], and is featured in [Phys.Org].

  • Caucus meeting at AOM (Academy of Management), "Building an Integrated Framework for Innovation, Organizations and Society" is on Aug 8, 2016 at Anaheim Marriott in Platinum Ballroom 5. The detail is found in [link]

  • Our paper, Technological novelty profile and invention’s future impact, appears in EPJ Data Science 2016 5:8 [link], and is featured in [SpringerOpen blog].

  • Our paper, Scaling and universality in urban economic diversification, Journal of The Royal Society Interface 13:20150937 [link]: see Media covers [Science of Cities in Next City], and [Forbes]

  • Quartz made a really cool movie on our paper.

  • An interactive webpage for a linguistic semantic project is now up and running. Have fun with learning languages from African to Eurasian, to American, and to Oceanian [link]
  • Our paper, On the universal structure of human lexical semantics, appears in Proc Natl Acad Sci [link]: see Media Coverage [Phys.org], [Santa Fe Institute news], [Mathematical Institute news, University of Oxford], [ PNAS highlights], [QUARTZ video clip], [Nature], [과학동아], and [National Geography Blog].

  • Our paper, Invention as a combinatorial process: Evidence from U.S. Patents appears in Royal Soc. Interface 12 106 [link]: see Media coverage [the Economist], [Santa Fe Institute news], [GIZMODO], [MIT Technology Review], and [Nature Physics]

  • NSF grant to study Technological Change from the Map of Capabilities with Aaron Cluaset, the University of Colorado at Boulder [link]