Hyejin Youn

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

External Professor, Santa Fe Institute

External Fellow, London Mathematical Laboratory

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

Job opening
I welcome applications from talented undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral scholars in the field of collective intellligence, who will be working with me at The Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO) and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Please read the short project description before application. Inquiries should include a cover letter and current CV, and appliation will be received as a form of email with subject heading “(your name) – Postdoc Application” or "Researcher Application", containing: 1) cover letter, describing your interest in and qualifications for this position; 2) curriculum vitae (including publications list); 3) two or three letters of recommendation emailed separately by the writers (not needed for research assitant posts); 4) a link to the candidate’s professional webpage (if applicable). The review will start in Nov 20th until the positions are filled. See full descriptions (Postdoc and RA)

About me

I am an associate professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO). I am also an external faculty at Santa Fe Institute. Before Northwestern, I was a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, and at MIT Media Lab, and a senior research fellow at Mathematical Institute at University of Oxford , and Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School. I have received three National Science Foundation grant (USA): 1) Rule of Life; 2) the Structure of Technology; 3) Technological Change from the Map of Capabilities. 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 and Google scholar for the more details on my publications.


  • NSF award as part of the NSF's 10 Big Ideas: Rule of Life ($2.2M). [link]

  • Interview with NBC News "Manufacturers embrace robots, the perfect pandemic worker" [link]

  • 2021 YrCSS Bridge Grants (Complex Systems Society) Lost in Translation: The Role of Tools and Technologies in the Future of Work with Moh Hosseinioun and Jaehyuk Park [link].

  • Interview with Kellogg Insight the Pandemic Could Accelerate Job Automation—and Inequality [link].

  • NSF grant on the Structure of Technology with James McNerney and Ricardo Haussmann [link]. The workshop will be held at the Santa Fe Institute June 14, 2022 – June 16, 2022.

  • New paper Quantifying simultaneous innovations in evolutionary medicine appears in Theory in Biosciences [link].

  • New paper The universal pathway to innovative urban economies appears in Science Advances [link] [Phys.org].

  • New HBR Ascend article "Should We Be Afraid of Artificial Intelligence?" [link]

  • New paper Toward understanding the impact of artificial intelligence on labor appears in PNAS [link] [Forbes].

  • Teaching Summer Schools: Santa Fe Institute Complex System Summer School, and NECSI Summer School 2019.

  • Invited talk at NetSci, May 31, 2019 in Burlington, VT [link].

  • 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]

  • 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].

  • 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].

  • 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] [the Economist], [Santa Fe Institute news], [GIZMODO], [MIT Technology Review], and [Nature Physics]