I was born in Augusta (Italy), on May the 31st, 1971. I carried out my undergraduate studies at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Catania (Italy), where I got my degree on July the 19th, 1995, with the mark of 110/110 cum laude, presenting the thesis "Two-Particle-One-Hole Excitations in the Continuum".
From September 1995 till June 1997 I worked at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) of Stockholm, Sweden, supported by a fellowship granted by the Swedish Institute. In Stockholm I kept working on nuclear physics, and specifically on issues related to my thesis work.
In March 1998 I began my PhD studies in the group of Theoretical High Energy Physics at the University of Bielefeld (Germany), which is renowned for its activity in lattice gauge theories. There I developed a theoretical framework that maps the deconfinement transition of SU(2) lattice gauge theory to the percolation transition of special clusters of nearest neighboring like-signed spin variables. I earned my PhD degree on November the 27th, 2000, with the mark of summa cum laude. The title of my PhD thesis was "Percolation and Deconfinement in SU(2) Gauge Theory".
I stayed in Bielefeld as a postdoctoral research associate until December 2004. As a postdoc I basically worked on percolation theory and its possible applications to lattice gauge theories and phenomenology of heavy ion collisions. In summer 2003 I got to know about complex networks at a seminar of my friend and colleague Vito Latora. After some reading, I was fascinated by the new topic, and in general by complex systems, so I decided to join the rapidly increasing scientific community that was dealing with this new research area.
From February 2005 to January 2007 I was postdoctoral research associate at the School of Informatics of Indiana University in Bloomington (Indiana, USA), working in the Complex Systems Group led by Alessandro Vespignani. During my stay at IU, I worked on several problems, from general theory of complex networks to the study of information and biological networks, to social dynamics.
From February 2007 till September 2009 I was research scientist at the Complex Networks Lagrange Laboratory of the Institute for Scientific Interchange (ISI) in Turin, Italy. From October 2009 till September 2011 I have been research leader at ISI.
In October 2011 I became Associate Professor in Complex Systems at the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science (BECS) of the School of Science of Aalto University in Espoo, Finland. In March 2014 I obtained the first promotion to full professor in the history of Aalto University.
Since August 2016 I am Professor at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering of Indiana University in Bloomington, USA.
Since April 2018 I am the Director of the Indiana University Network Science Institute.