Welcome to Social Dimension, a blog devoted to the math behind understanding society and civilization. Mathematics can be used to understand all aspects of our society: sports, movies, history, and even how ideas spread around the world. From the highbrow, such as the evolution of ancient manuscripts, to the somewhat lower brow, such as the social networks of superheroes, our society is suffused with topics than can be understood using math.
A bit about myself: I am currently a senior scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where I conduct research on productivity and innovation using applied mathematics and computational modeling. This lets me think about everything from how cities work to the dynamics of universities, and even how scientific discovery occurs. I previously was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School, and received a PhD in computational biology at Cornell. Alongside my research, I write for popular audiences (you can see more of my previous writing and blogginghere), and am currently at work on my first book, The Half-Life of Facts, to be published in the fall of 2012, by Current/Penguin.
I’ve had the chance to publish in lots of different areas—biology, physics, applied mathematics, social sciences, and even history—so getting to write for Wired.com about how to quantitatively understand society is an amazing opportunity. I am excited to join such a wonderful family of writers and thinkers here at Wired Science.
So, new readers, I’ll be exploring topics from my own research as well as from the work of others, along with novel mathematical analyses never before seen. Get ready for a fun exploration of the mathematics behind the anthropic part of our world.