2018 Ulam Lectures — The Limits of Computers in Science and Society

Despite their enormous power, computers have fundamental limits: problems that no program can solve, and thorny issues in fairness and human rights. In a two-part lecture series, SFI Professor Cristopher Moore looks at two sides of computation — the mathematical structures that make problems easy or hard, and the growing debate about fairness in algorithmic predictions.

Read More

Theory, meet Empiry

It may seem that there isn't much cross-discussion between theoretical and empirical scientists, but a new cross-citation network analysis shows there is more overlap than many believe. 

Read More

Networks, second edition

SFI External Professor Mark Newman has updated his classic textbook on networks. Oxford University Press publishes Networks, second edition, in early September, 2018.

Read More

New external faculty announced for 2018

SFI welcomes ten new professors to our external faculty, a cohort of academics who enrich our networks of interactions, help us push the boundaries of complex systems science, and connect us to over 70 institutions around the globe.

Read More

Broken brains and network structures

Neuroscientists and complexity scientists meet to develop new tools for studying the brain as a complex network. Their working group, titled “Cognitive Regime Shift: When the Brain Breaks,” is part of SFI’s Aging, Adaptation, and the Arrow of Time research theme, funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

Read More

Parakeet pecking orders, basketball match-ups, and the tenure-track: How analyzing winners and losers can reveal rank within networks

In a paper published in Science Advances, researchers from the Santa Fe Institute describe a new algorithm called SpringRank that uses wins and losses to quickly find rankings lurking in large networks. When tested on a wide range of synthetic and real-world datasets, ranging from teams in an NCAA college basketball tournament to the social behavior of animals, SpringRank outperformed other ranking algorithms in predicting outcomes and in efficiency.

Read More

Workshop explores team culture and human performance

This question of how the collective influences individual performance is central to the work of SFI’s investigation into the limits of human performance. In a workshop that takes place June 25-27, experts from a range of disciplines, including physiology, organizational behavior, sports analytics and applied mathematics, explore how the collective affects the individual.

Read More

Cooler computing through statistical physics?

Recent breakthroughs in nonequilibrium statistical physics have revealed opportunities to advance the "thermodynamics of computation," a field that could have far-reaching consequences for how we understand, and engineer, our computers.

Read More

SFI Press publishes Emergence of Premodern States

On June 11, the SFI Press released the second volume in its Seminar Series, The Emergence of Premodern States, edited by Jeremy A. Sabloff and Paula L.W. Sabloff. This project tackles one of the most deceptively simple inquiries in archaeology: How did humans transition from hunter-gatherer societies into states — collective entities that are the movers and shakers of the modern world?

Read More

The water wheel of socio-hydro systems

This week at SFI, scientists from fields ranging from hydrology and environmental engineering to political science and economics explore the interplay of environmental conditions and society around water.

Read More