Mathematics - Florida State University
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Neil Johnson



Speaker: Neil Johnson
Title: Two's Company, Three Is Complexity: From Market Crashes and Global Terrorism, Through to the War in Iraq and World of Warcraft
Affiliation: University of Miami.
Date: Friday, November 2, 2007.
Place and Time: Room 101, Love Building, 3:35-4:30 pm.
Refreshments: Room 204, Love Building, 3:00 pm.

Abstract. John Adams, the 2nd president of the United States, stated: "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics ....". In this talk, I will attempt to study all three by developing a common mathematical framework to describe the dynamical evolution of crowds of agents (e.g. humans) engaged in conflict. Supporting empirical data will be drawn from a wide range of current human activity: from trading in global financial markets, through to insurgency in Iraq, Afghanistan and Colombia, global terrorism, urban gang sizes, and cliques/guilds in online games such as World of Warcraft. In addition to the specific applications in these fields, the present mathematical results go some way toward unifying the complex behaviors observed in human crowd behavior. Time permitting, I will then mention the potential application of these ideas to the functioning of the immune system, and to collections of neurons.


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Last modified: Thursday October 11th, 2007