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Researchers Look to Human ‘Social Sensors’ to Better Predict Elections and other Trends

Social scientists can gather highly accurate information about social trends and groups by asking about a person’s social circle rather than interrogating their own individual beliefs.
30-Jun-2021 4:30 PM EDT Add to Favorites

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Study: Complexity Holds Steady as Writing Systems Evolve

A new paper in the journal Cognition examines the visual complexity of written language and how that complexity has evolved.
16-Jun-2021 11:25 AM EDT Add to Favorites

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Mandating vaccination could reduce voluntary compliance

A new study based on evidence from Germany and on a model of the dynamic nature of people’s resistance to COVID-19 vaccination sounds an alarm: mandating vaccination could have a substantial negative impact on voluntary compliance.
7-Jun-2021 4:10 PM EDT Add to Favorites

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Applying mathematics takes ‘friendship paradox’ beyond averages

In network science, the famous "friendship paradox" describes why your friends are (on average) more popular, richer, and more attractive than you are. But a slightly more nuanced picture emerges when we apply mathematics to real-world data.
7-Jun-2021 11:05 AM EDT Add to Favorites

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Mobility data reveals universal law of visitation in cities

New research published in Nature provides a powerful yet surprisingly simple way to determine the number of visitors to any location in a city.
24-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT Add to Favorites

When will your elevator arrive?

The human world is, increasingly, an urban one — and that means elevators. Two physicists saw this as an opportunity to explore the factors that determine elevator transport capabilities in their new paper in the Journal of Statistical Mechanics.
3-May-2021 10:25 AM EDT Add to Favorites

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First Australian populations followed footpath ‘superhighways’ across the continent

By simulating the physiology and decisions of early way-finders, an international team of archaeologists, geographers, ecologists, and computer scientists has mapped the probable “superhighways” that led to the first peopling of the Australian...
26-Apr-2021 10:45 AM EDT Add to Favorites

Study: Insights from two reopened schools during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the 2020-2021 fall semester, school districts around the United States navigated their reopening plans with little data on how SARS-CoV-2 spreads among children or how in-person learning would impact transmission in the schools’...
30-Mar-2021 2:00 PM EDT Add to Favorites


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The Santa Fe Institute is a transdisciplinary research community that expands the boundaries of scientific understanding. Its aim is to discover, comprehend, and communicate the common fundamental principles in complex physical, computational, biological, and social systems that underlie many of the most profound problems facing science and society today.

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