Neil Johnson

Photo of Neil Johnson

Neil Johnson

Professor of Physics


Neil Johnson is a professor of physics at GW and heads up a new initiative in Complexity and Data Science which combines cross-disciplinary fundamental research with data science to attack complex real-world problems. His research interests lie in the broad area of Complex Systems and ‘many-body’ out-of-equilibrium systems of collections of objects, ranging from crowds of particles to crowds of people and from environments as distinct as quantum information processing in nanostructures through to the online world of collective behavior on social media.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and is the recipient of the 2018 Burton Award from the APS. He received his BA/MA from St. John's College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge and his PhD as a Kennedy Scholar from Harvard University. He was a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and later a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford until 2007, having joined the faculty in 1992. Following a period as Professor of Physics at the University of Miami, he was appointed Professor of Physics at George Washington University in 2018. He presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures "Arrows of Time" on BBC TV in 1999. He has more than 300 published research papers across a variety of research topics and has supervised the doctoral theses of more than 25 students. His published books include Financial Market Complexity published by Oxford University Press and Simply Complexity: A Clear Guide to Complexity Theory published by Oneworld Publications. He co-founded and co-directed CABDyN (Complex Agent-Based Dynamical Systems) which is Oxford University's interdisciplinary research center in Complexity Science, and an Oxford University interdisciplinary research center in financial complexity (OCCF).