Santa Fe Institute

Research News

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Study: Religious acts are perceived as conveying prosocial intent
Aug. 24, 2016 -

Whether it’s walking across hot coals or simply going to church on Sunday, people who participate in regular religious acts send a clear signal to others that they’re ready and willing to contribute to their communities, a new study suggests.

Prediction: How good can we get?
Aug. 22, 2016 -

Scientists are getting better at prediction, but there’s good reason to believe we will eventually bump up against some fundamental limits. A workshop at SFI asks where those limits might be.

Happening now at SFI: The neurobiology of recognizing faces in a crowd
Aug. 16, 2016 -

How do we recognize a face in a crowd? Experts are at SFI this month to explore how our brains process relevant information in a sea of noise.

Electric vehicles could meet most driving needs across diverse US cities
- Nature Energy
Aug. 15, 2016 -

Most US drivers could perform their daily personal vehicle trips with an electric vehicle, according to a new model by SFI External Professor Jessika Trancik and colleagues.

Networks, AI, and psychology for social change
Aug. 4, 2016 -

Drawing from network science, decision-making tools with artificial intelligence, and social influence theories, experts gathered at SFI recently to explore new ways to spark large-scale social change.

How microbiomes respond to disturbance
Aug. 2, 2016 -

To prepare for climate change, urbanization, or antibiotic resistance, we need to know how the microbial world we are immersed in will respond to stress. A recent SFI meeting sought progress.

Study: Replacing ill workers with healthy ones accelerates some epidemics
- Nature Physics
Aug. 1, 2016 -

A new network model shows that replacing infected front-line workers with healthy ones can actually accelerate the spread of certain infections.

Adaptive computation: The multidisciplinary legacy of John Holland
- Communications of the ACM
July 28, 2016 -

Stephanie Forrest and Melanie Mitchell recount the legacy of John Holland, a complexity science pioneer who passed away in August 2015.

Audio: SFI's Krakauer on information, order, computation, & intelligence
July 19, 2016 -

On the popular podcast "Waking Up with Sam Harris," SFI President David Krakauer weighs in on whether your brain is an information processor. It is, he says, because it converts disorder to order.

Superhuman: What are the limits to human performance?
July 18, 2016 -

A unique meeting at SFI in July brought together experts from fields as diverse as physics, neuroscience, sports, and dance to ask whether there are limits to human performance.

Paper: Group-navigating species may be vulnerable to collapse
- Movement Ecology
July 15, 2016 -

New research by SFI Omidyar Fellow Andrew Berdahl and collaborators reveals that populations relying on group navigation, such as migrating birds and salmon, could be vulnerable to sudden collapse.

Don't abandon national referendums, but smaller groups often make wiser choices
July 15, 2016 -

New research suggests that larger crowds do not always produce wiser decisions. Moderately-sized crowds are likely to outperform larger ones when faced with combinations of easy and difficult qualitative decisions.

How to detect hackers who know we’re on to them
- Journal of Network and Computer Applications
July 15, 2016 -

In a recent paper in the Journal of Network and Computer Applications, SFI Postdoc Justin Grana and his collaborators call on game theory to suggest a better way to stop cyber attackers.

Enroll now for the Dynamics and Chaos MOOC with David Feldman
July 6, 2016 -

SFI's free online course, Introduction to Dynamical Systems and Chaos with College of the Atlantic professor David Feldman, begins July 5. Topics to be covered include: phase space, bifurcations, chaos, the butterfly effect, strange attractors, and pattern formation.

Tracking animal migrations has become easier... now what?
June 30, 2016 -

During a working group this week at SFI, roughly a dozen ecologists and computer scientists will explore ways emerging technologies might help researchers better understand why and how individuals in migrating groups make the choices they do.

Migrate or cooperate? SFI working group tackles evolutionary fork-in-the-road
June 29, 2016 -

Researchers meet at SFI this week to understand how two evolutionary strategies -- migration and cooperation -- might have co-evolved, and in what situations one strategy prevails.

Jim Hartle elected to the American Philosophical Society
June 29, 2016 -

SFI External Professor Jim Hartle has been named a member of the American Philosophical Society.

Does nature favor cool computations?
- Entropy
June 22, 2016 -

Imprecise, noisy computations can actually cool a biological system, according to a new analysis by SFI Professor David Wolpert.

Where, when, and which energy storage systems make sense for utilities offering wind and solar
- Nature Climate Change
June 20, 2016 -

In a study published in Nature Climate Change, SFI External Professor Jessika Trancik and colleagues assess the market value of storage technology such as batteries, pumped hydroelectric, and compressed air energy storage.

What drives biological synchrony?
June 8, 2016 -

Researchers are gathered at SFI this week to understand what drives biological "synchrony": rapid, widespread rises and falls in populations.

Paper: Human niche construction has re-shaped the biosphere
- PNAS
June 8, 2016 -

Human niche construction has dramatically re-shaped the global biosphere over time, according to newly published research by SFI External Professor Melinda Zeder.

Aaron Clauset receives Erdos-Renyi Prize for Young Scientists
- NetSci
June 3, 2016 -

This week, SFI External Professor Aaron Clauset received the 2016 Erdős–Rényi Prize for Young Scientists from the Network Science Society. 

Crop prevalence adds to evidence of human migration patterns
- PNAS
June 2, 2016 -

Crop prevalence adds to the evidence that Madagascar and the Comoros Islands were colonized by people from South Asian Islands rather than from Africa, a new paper suggests.

Science Board member Simon Levin wins National Medal of Science for his research in ecological complexity
May 20, 2016 -

This week the president awarded SFI's Simon Levin the U.S. National Medal of Science—the nation’s highest honor for achievement and leadership in science. 

Happening now at SFI: Working group seeks new algorithms for an old problem
May 16, 2016 -

Deciding whether two symmetries are alike is a longstanding problem in group theory, the mathematical study of symmetry. This week at SFI, a working group meets to tackle the mathematical curiosity with implications across diverse scientific fields.

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