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The Physics of Complex Systems Through the Lens of Networks, Part 1

March 27, 2014
12:30 PM - 01:30 PM
Goergen Hall, Room 101

Gourab Ghoshal

The dynamics of systems in the real world are often the result of the interplay between their myriad structural constituents. Their bulk properties emerge as a manifestation of collective behavior and multiple subsystems where very frequently "the whole is greater than the (simple) sum of its parts." Systems with these properties are broadly classified as emergent or complex systems. Very frequently, it turns out that they consist of many interconnected components and consequently, the science of networks is an important aspect of studying complex systems.

I am a theoretical physicist with a strong interest both in analytic and computational modeling as well as their experimental and observational tests. My current research interests falls within the purview of the Physics of Living Systems from the macroscopic level involving the study of societal entities such as cities and social media, all the way down to the microscopic level where I'm studying biologically inspired chemical models for cells.

In this talk, I will focus on some of my work that falls in the intersection of Big Data and Complex Networks. Specifically I'll discuss some of my past and current work related to efficacy of search in knowledge databases and the emergence and characterization of trends in Social Media and other societally generated systems. Time permitting I'll touch upon some other aspects of my research program and outline directions for the future. Gourab Ghoshal is currently a Research Scientist in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. He received his PhD in 2009 in Statistical Physics at the University of Michigan and then was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at Harvard Medical School/Northeastern University and a Visiting Research Scholar at the Media Lab, MIT. His research interests are in the theory and application of Complex Networks, as well as Non-equilibrium Statistical Physics, Game theory, Econophysics, Dynamical Systems and the Origins of Life. He is the editor of a book on Complex Networks (published by Springer) and his work has been published in Nature, Science and Physical Review Letters.

Host: Steve Teitel

Category: Talks