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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Have you no humanities?

SFI will soon launch a new “NEH institute,” Foundations and Applications of Humanities Analytics, to introduce early-career humanities scholars to new ways of studying culture with a wide range of computational tools.

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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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Tiny worlds reveal fundamental drivers of abundance, diversity

Ecology is traditionally a data-poor discipline, but tiny microbial worlds offer the quantity of data needed to solve universal questions about abundance and diversity. New research by Jacopo Grilli reveals the fundamental relationship between the environment and the species present in a microbial community and can be used as a starting point for investigating bigger systems.

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Size and sleep: New research reveals why little things sleep longer

Using data from humans and other mammals, a team of scientists including researchers from the Santa Fe Institute has developed one of the first quantitative models that explains why sleep times across species and during development decrease as brains get bigger. Crucially, the model identifies a sharp transition at around 2.4 years of age, where sleep patterns change in humans as the primary purpose of sleep shifts from reorganization to repair.

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New model shows how voting behavior can drive political parties apart

If voters gravitate toward the center of the political spectrum, why are the parties drifting farther apart? A new model by SFI's Vicky Chuqiao Yang and her collaborators reveals a mechanism for increased polarization in U.S. politics, guided by the idea of "satisficing"-- that people will settle for a candidate who is "good enough."

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New book: Unsolved Problems in Ecology

A new collection of essays, co-curated by SFI External Professor Andy Dobson, consider unanswered questions about scaling, population biology, ecosystems and communities, collective behavior, and conservation, among other themes.

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