An Introduction to SFI’s Visiting Faculty

Three researchers are spending several months at SFI to tackle some big questions: “Why do we sleep less as we get older?” “What do city pigeons have in common with drug interactions?” and “Is there a trajectory underlying human history?” to name a few.

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New study improves 'crowd wisdom' estimates

In a new study, researchers examined just how accurate our collective intelligence is and how individual bias and information sharing skew aggregate estimates. Using their findings, they developed a mathematical correction that takes into account bias and social information to generate an improved crowd estimate. 

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Machine learning yields new insights into French Revolution’s early days

New research from an interdisciplinary collaboration among historians, political scientists, and statisticians suggests that rhetorical innovations may have played a significant role in winning acceptance for the new principles of governance that built the French republic’s foundation — and inspired future democracies around the world. 

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Finding meaning in big data

The noise in high-dimensional datasets can obscure real correlations — and give rise to illusory patterns that don’t mean anything. April 2-5, an interdisciplinary group of mathematicians, physicists, and theoretical computer scientists meets at SFI to address the problem and devise new algorithms that can succeed all the way up to the limits that arise from not having enough data, or not knowing if the data is accurate.  

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Study: To prevent collapse of tropical forests, protect their shape

A team of scientists has made a fundamental discovery about how fires on the edges of these forests control their shape and stability. Their study implies that when patches of tropical forest lose their natural shape it could contribute to the sudden, even catastrophic, transformation of that land from trees to grass.

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Caribou drone study shows 'enormous variation' within herd

In a paper published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, SFI Omidyar Fellow Andrew Berdahl, long-time collaborator Colin Torney (University of Glasgow), and co-authors, used drones to collect overhead footage of migrating caribou. This is the first paper to use drones to record the movement of individual animals within groups. It is also among the first to study social interactions within those groups as they migrate.

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