The Fidelity Center for Applied Complexity presents:
Cascading Events in Complex Financial Networks
Boston, MA

Financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected at many levels. Inter-institution lending is imposing linkages between corporations, structured investment products are creating linkages between real and financial assets, and businesses "too big to fail" are redefining linkages between finance, government and society. This event will offer insights into how events cascade through these complex networks and their consequences to the global economy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1:00 - 5:00 p.m. ET

245 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02109
14th floor, FCAT Auditorium

Agenda | Biographies | Transportation and Parking | Organizing Committee


Full Payment of the NetSci 2010: International School and Conference on Complex Networks entitles you to attend all satellite symposiums, including this one, at no additional charge. If you are NOT attending NetSci 2010, you must purchase a separate ticket for this symposium. All attendees must register here.




1:10 PM

Alessandro Vespignani, Ph.D.
Professor of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University
Theory of Cascading Events in Complex Networks




15 minute break



2:10 PM

César Hidalgo, Ph.D.
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School
Research Fellow, Harvard University Center for Int’l. Development
Complexity as the Fundamental of Modern Economies




15 minute break



3:10 PM

Fabrizio Lillo, Ph.D.
Professor, Santa Fe Institute
Professor, University of Palermo, Physics
Similarity Based Financial Networks




15 minute break



4:10 PM

Tony Ryan, Chief Administrative Officer, Fidelity Investments
Former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury 2006-2009
Acting Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury 2008-2009
The Financial Crisis from Inside the U.S. Treasury Department


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Alessandro Vespignani, Ph.D.
James H. Rudy Professor of Informatics and Computing; adjunct professor of Physics and Statistics, director of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research. Opens in a new window (CNetS), and associate director of the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University.

Alessandro Vespignani obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Rome, La Sapienza. After holding research positions at Yale University and Leiden University, he has been a member of the condensed matter research group at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (UNESCO) in Trieste. Before joining Indiana University, Vespignani has been a faculty of the Laboratoire de Physique Theorique at the University of Paris-Sud, working for the French National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) of which he is still member at large. Vespignani is an elected fellow of the American Physical Society and is serving in the board/leadership of a variety of professional associations and journals, as well as the Institute for Scientific Interchange Foundation in Turin, Italy. He has authored more than 100 scientific papers on the properties and characterization of non-equilibrium phenomena, critical phase transitions and complex systems. Recently, Vespignani's research activity is focused on the interdisciplinary application of statistical physics and numerical simulation methods in the analysis of epidemic and spreading phenomena and the study of biological, social and technological networks. He was the advisor of several graduate and undergraduate theses and organizer of international conferences and schools. Vespignani is author of two monographic volumes, Evolution and Structure of the Internet: a statistical physics approach*, and Dynamical Processes on Complex Networks**. He was among the five scientists nominated for the Wired Magazine Rave Award in science for 2004.

*with Romualdo Pastor-Satorras, published by Cambridge University Press (2004, paperback reprint 2007) and translated and published in France by Belin Editeur (2004).

**with A. Barrat and M. Barthelemy, published by Cambridge University Press (2008).

César A. Hidalgo, Ph.D.
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School; Research Fellow at Harvard University's Center for International Development.

A native of Santiago de Chile, Dr. Hidalgo's work focuses on improving the understanding of systems by using and developing tools of complexity and network science. His work includes applications to economic development and industrial policy, but also conducts research on systems biology, social networks, human dynamics and complexity theory. His work at CID focuses on exploring alternative descriptions of country's productive structures and their evolution. His goal is to help improve the understanding of the evolution of prosperity and help develop industrial policies that can help countries raise the living standards of their citizens.

Dr. Hidalgo's research has been published in Science, Nature and PNAS and has been covered in The Financial Times, The NY Times, Forbes, Newsweek and BBC, among other media. Dr. Hidalgo holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Notre Dame and a "Licenciatura" in Physics degree from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.

Fabrizio Lillo, Ph.D.
Santa Fe Institute (Santa Fe, NM); University of Palermo (Italy)

Fabrizio Lillo has been awarded of the Young Scientist Award for Socio- and Econophysics of the German Physical Society in 2007. His research is focused on the application of methods and tools of statistical physics to economic, financial, and biological systems. Recently he has been interested in the microstructure of financial markets and in the empirical study of economic and financial systems where the data allow investigation of the behavior of individual agents with the aim of building empirically based agent based models. He obtained his PhD in Physics at the University of Palermo. He has been researcher of the National Institute for the Physics of Matter (Italy) and post doctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. He is author of more than 60 scientific papers.

Tony Ryan
Chief Administrative Officer, Fidelity Investments

Former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury 2006-2009

Acting Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury 2008-2009

Tony Ryan is chief administrative officer of Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans, a leading online brokerage firm and one of the largest providers of custody and clearing services to financial professionals. Mr. Ryan was named to his current position in August 2009 and is responsible for overseeing the execution of administrative services at the corporate level. In addition, Mr. Ryan provides administrative oversight to Fidelity Investments Institutional Services (FIIS), a business unit serving financial intermediaries. Mr. Ryan is a member of Fidelity's Executive Committee and reports directly to company president, Rodger A. Lawson.

Mr. Ryan joined Fidelity in February 2009 as head of Asset Management Strategy and Product Development within the senior investment management executive team. In this role, he was responsible for defining long-term investment strategies and driving the development and coordination of investment management product offerings across Fidelity Management & Research Company (FMRCo), Pyramis Global Advisors and Strategic Advisers, Inc.

Prior to joining Fidelity, Mr. Ryan served in the United States Treasury Department as acting Under Secretary of Domestic Finance from 2008 to 2009. In his role, he oversaw U.S. Treasury financing, public debt management and federal regulation of financial markets and also assisted the Secretary of the Treasury on the domestic financial system, fiscal policy and operations, government assets and liabilities and related economic and financial matters. He also served as the senior member of the Treasury Financing Group and coordinated the interagency President's Working Group (PWG) on Financial Markets.

From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Ryan served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Department where he advised the Secretary on broad matters of domestic finance; financial markets; federal, state and local finance; government credit policies; and lending and privatization. From July 2006 to December 2006, he was Senior Advisor to the Treasury Secretary, providing counsel to the Secretary and Treasury Chief of Staff on key policy matters and coordinating issues within the Department, its bureaus, as well as with the White House and other agencies.

Previously, Mr. Ryan spent six years as a partner and head of Global Business Development and Client Relations at Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., where he also served as a member of the firm's Global Executive Committee. From 1994 to 2000, he was a principal at State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), the institutional investment management arm of State Street Corp. At SSGA, Mr. Ryan served as a chief investment officer and portfolio manager of global equities and held positions leading product and business development efforts. From 1988 to 1994, he was manager, Global Investments, at PanAgora Asset Management and began his over 20 year investment management career in 1987 as a manager, Equity Investments for The Boston Company.

Mr. Ryan received his bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester in 1985 and his Master's from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1986. He also is a CFA charterholder.


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Transportation and Parking

From I-93 South, take Exit 23 onto Purchase Street.  Turn left onto Summer Street, #245 is on your right, next to South Station.

From I-93 North, take Exit 20 to South Station and continue straight on Lincoln Street. Turn right on Kneeland Street, then turn left on Atlantic Avenue.  Turn right onto Summer Street, #245 is on your right, next to South Station.

From I-90, Massachusetts Turnpike, keep left for Exit 24A-24B-24C (S Station/Concord NH/Quincy).  Take Exit 24A to South Station, and keep left at fork onto Atlantic Avenue.  Turn right on Summer Street, #245 is on your right, next to South Station.

Public Transportation
Take the MBTA Red Line to South Station.  Exit upstairs to the main terminal, and through the doors to the right of the ticket counters.  Cross the patio to main entrance of 245 Summer Street.

Central Channelside Parking, 6 Necco Street, Boston
$11 per day

  • Going east on Summer Street, cross the Fort Point Channel bridge
  • Take the 1st right onto Melcher Street
  • Take 1st right again onto Necco Street
  • Parking lot is on your right
  • To get to 245 Summer Street, walk towards the channel and the bridge, there is a walkway back to Summer Street.  Cross the bridge, our building is on your left, the front door is on the South Station side.


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Organizing Committee

Hamid Benbrahim, Fidelity Investments, Boston
César A. Hidalgo, Harvard University, Cambridge
Albert-László Barabási, Northeastern and Harvard, Cambridge

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