Aeon: All stars

In their recent essay in Aeon, SFI Professor Jessica Flack and collaborator Cade Massey (Wharton School, University of Texas) argue that complexity science can help us improve our strategies for building teams.

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Nautilus: A Model for a Just COVID-19 Vaccination Program

In their op-ed for Nautilus, SFI External Professor Melanie Moses (University of New Mexico) and her colleague Kathy L. Powers (University of New Mexico), argue that if scientists are to help public health policymakers meet their stated goal of protecting the most vulnerable, they must refine their methods to focus on the complex systems that govern communities that are most at risk.

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Study: Countering hate on social media

The rise of online hate speech is a disturbing, growing trend in countries around the world, with serious psychological consequences and the potential to impact, and even contribute to, real-world violence. A new paper offers a framework for studying the dynamics of online hate and counter speech, and offers the first large-scale classification of millions of instances such interactions on Twitter.

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The Conversation: Election polls are more accurate if they ask participants how others will vote

In a post-election op-ed for The Conversation, SFI Professor Mirta Galesic and Wändi Bruine de Bruin at USC Dornsife describe their polling research with colleagues Henrik Olssen, SFI External Professor, and Drazen Prelec at MIT. The team found that if polls start to ask questions about how people think members of their social circle or state will vote, they tend to predict results with far greater accuracy. 

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How early ‘infotech’ fueled collective computation & growth

One characteristic shared by most human civilzations in the last 10,000 years was a reliance on innovations in collective information processing to grow beyond a certain size and scale, according to research published in Nature Communications by Santa Fe Institute Professor David Wolpert, External Professor Tim Kohler (Washington State University), and other SFI collaborators.

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First virtual Undergraduate Complexity Research Program a success

It takes patience and plenty of good-will to transform a dynamic and intensive in-person summer program into a virtual experience that offers genuine and impactful connections. With the support of SFI Professor and Program Director Chris Kempes and Education Program Manager Carla Shedivy, ten students around the U.S. and 11 SFI researcher-mentors proved up to the task.

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The rhythm of change: What a drum-beat experiment reveals about cultural evolution

Living organisms aren’t the only things that evolve over time. Cultural practices change, too, and in recent years social scientists have taken a keen interest in understanding this cultural evolution. A new experiment used drum-beats to investigate the role that environment plays on cultural shifts, confirming that different environments do indeed give rise to different cultural patterns.

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Science Club explores puzzles of politics and voting

If voters gravitate toward the center of the political spectrum, why are the parties drifting farther apart? At the latest meeting of SFI’s Virtual Science Club on Sept. 16, Vicky Chuqiao Yang, an SFI Omidyar Fellow and Peters Hurst Scholar, showed 40 attendees how dynamic mathematical models can help us make sense of this and other puzzles of politics and voting

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Research News Briefs, Fall 2020

Research News Briefs highlight new studies from the SFI community published in the last quarter. The following briefs appeared in SFI's Fall 2020 Parallax newsletter. 

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Joshua Epstein receives top award for social simulation

The European Social Simulation Association (ESSA) honored SFI External Professor Joshua Epstein (New York University) with its most prestigious award — The Rosaria Conte Award for Outstanding Social Simulation. A pioneer and world leader in agent-based modeling, Epstein was among the first scientists to use bottom-up simulation to replicate the statistical macrostructures seen in complex social systems. 

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