Brooke Foucault Welles is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and a core faculty member of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University. Combining the methods of computational social science and network science with the theories of communication studies, Foucault Welles studies how online communication networks generate social support and build resilience in individuals, teams, and communities.
Much of her work is interdisciplinary and collaborative, with co-authors from computer science, political science, digital humanities, design, and public health. Her recent contributions include a series of studies of the transformative power of networked counterpublics, where she argues that online communication networks uniquely enable members of marginalized communities to support one another and advocate for social change. Foucault Welles’ methodological contributions include techniques for the longitudinal analysis of communication networks using event-based network analysis, and guidelines for the effective use of network visualizations in scientific and lay publications. She has also contributed a number of critical pieces about computational methods and is currently co-editing a book on computational communication research entitled Communication in the Networked Age.
Foucault Welles’ research is funded by grants from the US Army Research Office and US Army Research Lab, and has been featured in leading social science journals such as the Journal of Communication, Information, Communication and Society, and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Web Science and was on the organizing board of the 2016 International Conference on Computational Social Science and the Web Science Track of the 2015 World Wide Web conference. She earned her Ph.D. from the School of Communication at Northwestern University and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Communication from Cornell University.