Biological builders like beavers, elephants, and shipworms re-engineer their environments. How this affects their ecological network is the subject of new research by former Omidyar Fellow Justin Yeakel, which finds that increasing the number of "ecosystem engineers" stabilizes the entire network against extinctions.
Human cognition and cultural norms have changed the composition of human portraits, according to a new analysis of European paintings from the 15th to the 20th century. The study, led by SFI Omidyar Fellow Helena Miton, examined "bias" in 1831 paintings by 582 unique European painters.
Our thoughts are with the many victims of disease, abuse, injustice, and exclusion. Black lives and Native lives matter. Our community of complexity researchers are aligned with all who are committed to freedom, justice, diversity, opportunity, and empiricism. We stand with those who strive to provide the most powerful ideas, methods, and tools pursuant to a civil and equitable society. We add our voice to the moment, defend freedom of expression, and offer all that we can in pursuit of a safer and fairer world.
Swing voters, swing stocks, swing users: Scientists develop a general technique for identifying swing components
A new technique could help identify prime candidates for changing election outcomes, or lead to a better understanding of how institutional and environmental factors shape the emergence of social structure.
Well-mixed models do not protect the vulnerable in segregated societies.
Transmission T-033: Brian Enquist on how pandemics rapidly reshape the evolutionary & ecological landscape
Pandemics rapidly reshape the evolutionary and ecological landscape and have cascading social, economic, and other system-level effects.
The countervailing pressures of economic pain and disease containment are keeping the COVID-19 pandemic at a noisy equilibrium.
The COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to out-evolve the virus by evolving our own scientific ingenuity and social practices.
External Professor Emeritus Constantino Tsallis and his colleague describe a single function that accurately describes all existing available data on active COVID-19 cases and deaths—and aims to predict forthcoming peaks.
Launched in early April, the online “Complexity of COVID-19” course is a resource for families and communities to think through the broad-reaching consequences of this pandemic in real time.
SFI has always prided itself on its ability to bring together top scientists from around the world. Traditionally, they've met in the same room, with catered meals and coffee on tap. Now, in an effort to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, SFI’s faculty, postdocs, and staff are making the most of remote work.
When disease modelers map the spread of viruses like the novel coronavirus, Ebola, or the flu, they traditionally treat them as isolated pathogens. Under these so-called “simple” dynamics, it’s generally accepted that the forecasted size of the affected population will be proportional to the rate of transmission. But according to former SFI postdoc Laurent Hébert-Dufresne at the University of Vermont and his co-authors Samuel Scarpino at Northeastern University, a former Omidyar Fellow, and Jean-Gabriel Young at the University of Michigan, the presence of even one more contagion in the population can dramatically shift the dynamics from simple to complex.
In the field of computer science, recent advances in machine learning have begun to produce tools that could be used to mine the vast trove of communiqués in cyberspace that hold patterns that can provide rich insights into how our minds work. An SFI working group, which met online in April, brought together psychologists and computer scientists to explore how the two fields can collaborate.
For students who participate in SFI’s Undergraduate Complexity Research program, the 10-week residential opportunity not only develops their research skills, it opens their minds to new concepts and builds lasting relationships. We recently caught up with two students who attended the 2019 session.
In his recent op-ed at The Hill, External Professor Rajiv Sethi explains that protecting life is essential to protecting livelihoods: the only sustainable way to protect economic livelihood is to ensure that re-entry into economic life is, and remains, non-life-threatening.
SFI Trustee Katherine Collins and ACtioN member Putnam Investments are co-hosting a Virtual Topical Meeting May 27-28 to explore how complexity science can inform sustainable investing. The meeting will bring investors together with leading climate and complexity scientists to discuss “The Complexity of Sustainability and Investing.”