We at SFI are often asked for reading recommendations, so we feel it is time to make our responses more broadly available to the public. Beginning with this first installment, future issues of our newsletter, Parallax, will feature three new recommendations on a specific theme, each from a different member of our community.
In which SFI President David Krakauer contemplates the trade-offs inherent in exchanging ideas online vs in person.
SFI External Professor Orit Peleg and her colleagues find that some fireflies flash their lanterns in unison every half-second and look to their neighbors for signals on when to “switch on.”
Melanie Mitchell’s life changed on the New York City subway. During her post-college stint as a high-school math teacher in Manhattan, every subway ride was an opportunity to conquer a few more pages of Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach. Reading it, she became fascinated with the way math, art, and music could help explain the emergent properties of intelligence. She realized she wanted to work with Hofstadter and become an AI researcher.
In 2011, Sean Carroll was sipping coffee on a boat traveling between Bergen, Norway, and Copenhagen, when it occurred to him that there was no better model for how life emerged from chaos than his favorite hot drink. Or, as he put it later, “why complexity increases with time and then decreases — in contrast to entropy, which increases monotonically.” The boat was hosting FQXi’s physicist conference, and when the theoretical computational scientist Scott Aaronson, who was on board, heard Carroll’s question, he fell in love with what he called Carroll’s beautiful idea.
A team of economists and scientists have published a new study illustrating how tools from ecology can help us better understand financial markets.
Complexity Explorer unveils a brand-new course on the many faces of computational complexity, with SFI Professor Cris Moore. The content is appropriate for learners from any background (and no mathematical heavy lifting required).
In a new perspective piece in Nature, SFI researchers and their collaborators argue that social scientists can gather highly accurate information about social trends and groups by asking about a person’s social circle rather than interrogating their own individual beliefs.
In a paper published in Nature Communications, incoming SFI Postdoctoral Fellow Yuanzhao Zhang and former SFI external faculty member Steve Strogatz report using temporal network models to show that allowing connection patterns to change over time makes it possible to synchronize a system more efficiently.
Communication technology, study of collective behavior must be ‘crisis discipline,’ researchers argue
A team of researchers that includes SFI's Albert Kao and Mirta Galesic says that the study of collective behavior must rise to a “crisis discipline,” just like medicine, conservation, and climate science, according to a new perspective piece published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A new paper in the journal Cognition examines the visual complexity of written language and how that complexity has evolved.
SFI Professor Cristopher Moore collaborated with the Santa Fe Symphony to create a series designed to show young learners how music and science come together to enrich human experience. And for both viewers and participants, the result is pure joy.
The first meeting of the Junior Women’s Caucus in Stochastic Thermodynamics aims to give participants the opportunities many early-career researchers find most helpful, such as networking, journal-reading, tutorials, and access to senior academics in the field.
Joshua Grochow receives the National Science Foundation's most prestigious grant for junior faculty members, which will fund the next five years of his research.
Citizen opposition to COVID-19 vaccination has emerged across the globe, prompting pushes for mandatory vaccination policies. But a new study based on evidence from Germany and on a model of the dynamic nature of people’s resistance to COVID-19 vaccination sounds an alarm: mandating vaccination could have a substantial negative impact on voluntary compliance.
In network science, the famous "friendship paradox" describes why your friends are (on average) more popular, richer, and more attractive than you are. But a slightly more nuanced picture emerges when we apply mathematics to real-world data.
A new study by ecologist and SFI External Professor André de Roos* shows that differences between juveniles and adults of the same species are crucial for the stability of complex ecological communities.