Vicky Chuqiao Yang
Complexity Postdoctoral Fellow
Omidyar Fellow, Peters Hurst Scholar
Vicky’s research is centered around understanding complex phenomena of the human society using mathematical tools. Her recent interests are in the effects of political ignorance in elections and collaboration in urban productivity. Through studying these problems, she wants to help people make sense of the increasingly complex society they live in. To achieve this goal, she works in transdisciplinary teams, often with social scientists, physicists, and mathematicians. Her approach involves two aspects: building mechanistic models from first principles, and using real-world datasets to inform and validate these models.
Vicky first started her research in mathematical models for engineering applications, including heat transfer and microwave energy. In the same period, she was also fascinated by human behavior, and she conducted human subject experiments in a social psychology lab. In her Ph.D. work, she starts to connect the two fields: she integrated social science theories into mathematical models to address problems in urban scaling laws and polarization of political parties.
She received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University. She holds an M.S. in applied mathematics from Northwestern University, and dual-major B.S. in Physics and Mathematical Sciences from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.