João Moreira

PhD Student

Chemical & Biological Engineering
2145 Sheridan Road (Room E136)
EvanstonIllinois 60208US
Phone: 847-491-7231


I was born in Portugal, in a small town called Alcanena. For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in how and why nature and the universe work. So, when it became time to go to college, physics was a natural choice for me. From there, I discovered the fascinating worlds of network science and game theory, which became the basis of my master’s degree. Later, I became aware of the notions of “Big Data” and “Data Science”. I realized that we have an urgent need to make sense of the vast amount of information that we as a society are now constantly generating. We need to use data science in order to better understand complex systems, improve social conditions, foster economic growth, create better evaluative tools, etc. The possibilities are immense.

I got an undergraduate degree in Physics in 2009 and a Master’s degree in Statistical Physics in 2011 both from the University of Lisbon. My Master’s thesis was on evolutionary dynamics of cooperation in multiplayer games where I used adaptive networks methodologies to analyse the conditions for the emergence of cooperation in group interactions.

In December 2011 I joined the Amaral Lab and started a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University. I am currently working on a science of science project where I try to understand how to quantitatively measure and predict the quality of scientific output at all levels.


  • B. Sc. Physics, University of Lisbon (2009)
  • M. Sc. Statistical and Non-Linear Physics, University of Lisbon (2011)

Awards and Honors

  • Doctoral Fellowship (4 years), Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal (2011)