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Associate Professor of Computer Science; USC Viterbi School of Engineering; Associate Professor of Communication, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

I am Associate Professor of Communication (USC Annenberg) and Computer Science (USC Viterbi), Associate Director of Applied Data Science at the USC Department of Computer Science, Research Team Leader at the University of Southern California‘s Information Sciences Institute and Principal Investigator of the Machine Intelligence and Data Science (MINDS) group.

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

He has held various research positions in institutions in Italy, Austria, and the U.K. (2009-2012). Before joining USC in 2015, he was with the School of Informatics and Computing of Indiana University (2012-2015).

Ferrara published over 170 articles on machine learning, network science, and social media, which appeared in top venues including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Communications of the ACM, Physical Review Letters, etc.

His research on social network abuse has been featured in major news outlets and tech magazines. He was named IBM Watson Big Data VIP Influencer in 2015. He received the 2016 DARPA Young Faculty Award, the 2016 Complex System Society Junior Investigator Award, the 2018 DARPA Director's Fellowship, and the 2019 Viterbi Scientific Award.


  • 2020–present
    Associate Professor of Communication & Computer Science, University of Southern California
  • 2015–2020
    Research Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Southern California