Faculty Directory

Girvan, Michelle

Girvan, Michelle

Institute for Research in Electronics & Applied Physics
3341 A.V. Williams Building


  • Ph.D., Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., 2003
  • B.S., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999
  • B.S., Mathematics (minor in political science), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999


Professor Girvan received her B.S. in physics and B.S. in mathematics with a minor in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, in June 1999. She received her Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in August 2003.


  • Fellow of the American Physical Society (2017).

Orcid: 0000-0001-7519-2842, Google Scholar

Many social, biological and technological systems take the form of complex networks.  Examples include friendship and collaboration networks, neural networks, food webs, power grids, and the Internet.  Understanding that these systems cannot be well represented by low-dimensional lattices of mean field approximations, and that the intricate non-homogenous tangles of interacting elements must be explicitly taken into account, can give us new insights into hard problems.  My research combines methods from statistical mechanics, dynamical systems, and graph theory to address interdisciplinary, network-related problems.  I am interested in both broad theoretical approaches to complex networks as well as specific applications, especially to information cascades, epidemiology, and genetic regulatory networks.

Girvan featured on Jim Rutt Show podcast

Prof. Michelle Girvan was recently featured on the Jim Rutt Show podcast

Elizabeth Paul and Jaideep Pathak win Outstanding Graduate Assistant Awards

Students Elizabeth Paul and Jaideep Pathak win Outstanding Graduate Assistant Awards

Girvan, Losert, and Waks Named APS Fellows

Girvan, Losert, and Waks Named APS Fellows

Summer Wrap-Up: Undergraduate Researchers Compete for Prize

Undergraduate researchers and faculty pursue projects in applied mathematics, engineering and physics.  

IREAP Class of 2013

Congratulations to all of IREAP's Ph.D. and M.S. graduates!