Complexity tools for USDA nutritional guidelines

A recent report co-authored by SFI External Professor Ross Hammond outlines six main strategies for incorporating complex-systems science into the USDA’s nutritional guideline and offers a roadmap for creating a more nuanced, multifaceted approach to shaping nutritional policies.

Read More

Carlo Rovelli joins SFI's Fractal Faculty

Carlo Rovelli, a physicist known for his work on loop quantum gravity and for several popular science books including Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time, has joined SFI's Fractal Faculty.

Read More

New book offers thoughtful approach to modeling complex social systems

In his new book Modeling Social Behavior: Mathematical and Agent-Based Models of Social Dynamics and Cultural Evolution, SFI External Professor Paul Smaldino provides an excellent introduction to agent-based modeling for social scientists and others interested in modeling cognitive–social systems and integrates the use of computational agent-based models with classic mathematical approaches from dynamical systems and game theory.

Read More

Research News Brief: A test of AI “personalities” and behavior

As AI increasingly influences our human experience, we need to better understand its behavior. In new research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, SFI External Professor Matthew Jackson and co-authors presented two recent versions of ChatGPT — GPT-3 and -4 — with a common personality test and a suite of behavioral games, then compared the responses to those of humans from around the world. 

Read More

Study: To make sense of history, embrace uncertainty

There are many things we don’t know about how history unfolds. The process might be impersonal, even inevitable, as some social scientists have suggested; human societies might be doomed to decline. Or, individual actions and environmental conditions might influence our communities’ trajectories. Social scientists have struggled to find a consensus on such fundamental issues. A new framework by SFI faculty and others suggests a way to unify these perspectives.

Read More

How to track important changes in a dynamic network

Networks can represent changing systems, like the spread of an epidemic or the growth of groups in a population of people. But the structure of these networks can change, too, as links appear or vanish over time. In a new paper, a trio of SFI-affiliated researchers describe a novel way to aggregate static snapshots into smaller clusters of networks while still preserving the dynamic nature of the system.

Read More

African and South Asian students build new connections during inaugural Complexity Global School

In December last year, the first Complexity Global School (CGS) brought together students from South Asia and Africa together to explore ideas at the intersection of complexity science and political economy. The School, which is part of SFI’s Emerging Political Economies program, was hosted by partnering institutions Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. 

Read More

New gifts support SFI Education and Postdoctoral programs

In the first major gifts of 2024, and as part of SFI’s 40th Anniversary, the McKinnon Family Foundation and the Darla Moore Foundation have collectively pledged $750K each year for the next five years to support SFI’s education and early-career researcher programs. The gifts will ensure the financial stability of SFI’s Omidyar Fellowship, summer Undergraduate Complexity Research program, and its flagship Complex Systems Summer School. 

Read More

Sam Bowles named IEA Fellow

SFI Professor Samuel Bowles was recently recognized as a Fellow of the International Economics Association in recognition of "excellence in economic research, research-driven popular writing, and economic policymaking.” 

Read More

Modeling the UN’s biodiversity goals

In 2015, the United Nations published its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, setting aspirational and interconnected targets for economic, environmental, and health well-being, but we're falling woefully short of those targets. Of particular concern to a pair of SFI External Professors are the biodiversity goals. In a February working group, researchers will explore the probabilities and consequences of falling short of the U.N. goals. 

Read More

How a city is organized can create less-biased citizens

A new study in Nature Communications presents data and a mathematical model to explain why there is more unconscious, or implicit, racial bias in some cities than others. The study, which brings together the math of cities with the psychology of how individuals develop unconscious racial biases, suggests that a city's level of implicit bias depends on how populous, diverse, and segregated that city is.

Read More

Research News Brief: The social life of mouse immune systems

Hanging out a lot with the same crowd can make immune systems of individual animals similar, even if the crowd is not related. That’s according to a recent paper in Science Advances that teased out connections between social behaviors and immune cell profiles of lab mice which were allowed to “rewild” and do as they pleased in controlled, predator-free, outdoor enclosures. 

Read More

Research News Brief: Predicting human lives via sequences of life events

The AI that can write sentences or compose news articles can also accurately predict the unfolding of individual human lives. A new tool called life2vec can predict outcomes, including early death, by leveraging similarities between how sequences of events progress in human lives and sequences of words progress in language, according to a recent study in Nature.

Read More