Santa Fe Institute

Research News

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Audio: SFI's Krakakuer 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.

Applying complexity in The City Different
May 6, 2016 -

SFI and the City of Santa Fe join a federally funded initiative to find innovative solutions to local urban issues.

Chimpanzee fig selection sheds light on primate motor skills evolution
April 26, 2016 -

In a new study published in the Royal Society's Interface Focus, Justin Yeakel and colleagues explore the role fruit selection may have had on the evolution of primate motor skills.

Accounting for politics in green energy transitions
April 22, 2016 -

A new computational model by SFI Omidyar Fellow Marion Dumas and colleagues forecasts 50-year carbon emissions under differing political scenarios.

In first 72 Hours of Science, SFI postdocs test the limits of transdisciplinary science
April 20, 2016 -

In a test of the limits of scientific collaboration, 15 postdocs holed up in a home in the New Mexico foothills recently for three days and nights of intense scientific research. Their goal: produce a novel research paper in just 72 hours.

Paper: Novelty's not the sole source of invention
- EPJ Data Science
April 17, 2016 -

The economic impact of a new invention depends on its novelty and its conventionality, according to new research by SFI's Hyejin Youn and co-authors.

Human psychology and why we can't seem to get our heads around climate change
- BioScience
April 15, 2016 -

A new article co-authored by a number of SFI-affiliated researchers explores the psychological barriers that drive our distinct lack of “foresight intelligence” regarding climate change and our failure to take mitigating steps.

Systemic risk tax could diminish cascading failures in interbank lending
- Quantitative Finance
April 13, 2016 -

 In Quantitative Finance, SFI External Professor Stefan Thurner and colleagues suggest that a tax on interbank loans scaled to the risk each transaction adds to the system would more effectively limit financial systemic risk than proposed "one size fits all" risk taxes.

What can we learn from the farming insects?
April 11, 2016 -

Humans aren't the only species that farms; leafcutter ants, termites, and some beetles grow their own food. A working group met recently at SFI to explore the evolution of agriculture in insects and humans.

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