The bane of the language-learner is a goldmine for linguists, cultural evolutionists, and computer scientists, a group of whom will meet at SFI Aug. 27–28, 2018. Given the messy state of linguistic affairs, they ask, is it possible to quantitatively encode “meaning” independent of any particular language?
An SFI Working Group examines the evidence of low-density Maya settlements and the challenge this poses to the idea that density increases with population.
The notion that an attractive person is “out of your league” doesn’t often dissuade dating hopefuls – at least online. In fact, the majority of online daters seek out partners who are more desirable than themselves, suggests a new large-scale analysis published in Science Advances.
In this SFI Community Lecture, science writer Sabine Hossenfelder explains what physicists mean when they say a theory is beautiful, what went wrong with their reliance on it, and how the field can move on. Watch her talk.
A-list for ALIFE: Steen Rasmussen receives Lifetime Achievement Award from International Society for Artificial Life
A small cadre of scientists and entrepreneurs convened a two-week long SFI working group to address the growing gap between our physical and social technologies.
July 26-28, an interdisciplinary group of researchers gathers at SFI to explore the relationship between aging and infectious disease.
Neuroscientists and complexity scientists meet to develop new tools for studying the brain as a complex network. Their working group, titled “Cognitive Regime Shift: When the Brain Breaks,” is part of SFI’s Aging, Adaptation, and the Arrow of Time research theme, funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation.
Parakeet pecking orders, basketball match-ups, and the tenure-track: How analyzing winners and losers can reveal rank within networks
In a paper published in Science Advances, researchers from the Santa Fe Institute describe a new algorithm called SpringRank that uses wins and losses to quickly find rankings lurking in large networks. When tested on a wide range of synthetic and real-world datasets, ranging from teams in an NCAA college basketball tournament to the social behavior of animals, SpringRank outperformed other ranking algorithms in predicting outcomes and in efficiency.
On July 17, 2018, at The Lensic Performing Arts Center, economists Samuel Bowles and Wendy Carlin discussed the social consequences of a failed economic model, then outlined a new economic paradigm as the basis for a more sustainable and just global future. Watch the lecture.
Polygyny has been more common among relatively egalitarian low-tech horticulturalists than in highly unequal, capital-intensive agricultural societies. This surprising fact is known as the "polygyny paradox," and a new study from SFI's Dynamics of Wealth Inequality Project provides a possible resolution of the puzzle.
SFI hosts a working group July 10-13, 2018 to discuss climate projections for the next 50 years and what those projections may mean for the future human niche.
This question of how the collective influences individual performance is central to the work of SFI’s investigation into the limits of human performance. In a workshop that takes place June 25-27, experts from a range of disciplines, including physiology, organizational behavior, sports analytics and applied mathematics, explore how the collective affects the individual.
The latest scientific understanding of time, and how time shapes our experience, were subjects of a June 19 panel discussion between physicist James Hartle, cosmologist Sean Carroll, evolutionary theorist David Krakauer, and science writer Jenniffer Ouellette. Watch the panel discussion.
On June 11, the SFI Press released the second volume in its Seminar Series, The Emergence of Premodern States, edited by Jeremy A. Sabloff and Paula L.W. Sabloff. This project tackles one of the most deceptively simple inquiries in archaeology: How did humans transition from hunter-gatherer societies into states — collective entities that are the movers and shakers of the modern world?