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Human Networking Theory Gives Picture of Infectious Disease Spread

There are many vectors by which an infectious disease may spread. Commonly, infectious diseases are spread through human to human interactions. The flu, common cold, and STD’s are examples of diseases that spread from human to human. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) recently published a study regarding how […]

Quit Being Nashty; How Nash Equilibrium Relates to Societal Kindness

As we have learned, Nash Equilibria occur in non-cooperative games when each party makes the best possible decision for itself with the assumption that all other involved parties are operating with the same maximization-of-gains logic.  The definition of non-cooperation here does not imply that no cooperation occurs; it simply means that cooperation would be self-enforced, […]

Napoleon, the game theorist

In class, we have studied Neumann and Morgenstern’s game theory, which is defined as the process of making decisions based upon the behavior of those around us. Gareth Ranger of the University of Waikato utilizes this concept in order to analyze Napoleon Bonaparte’s actions in war. Were Napoleon’s strategies the best military moves to make? […]

Game theory and Gouldian finch populations

An interesting application of game theory comes up in animal populations competing for limited resources. One particular instance is the balance of peaceful and aggressive members of Gouldian finch populations. These birds are born with a genetic predisposition to react to conflict in one of two ways. Peaceful black-headed finches, when faced with a conflict […]

Netflix’s Unparalleled Algorithms

Netflix has grown from a small dot-com era venture to a titan in the tech industry over the past two decades. Netflix has thrived by recruiting employees that create high-quality systems to support both streaming and direct-mail services. Furthermore, Netflix has been able to succeed by leveraging the skills and talents of outside groups to […]

Game Theory in the World Cup

This article from Business Insider shows an interesting example of how game theory can be used to model real life scenarios. The article is about a scenario that occurred during the group stage of the 2014 World Cup. The first round of the world cup involves eight groups of four teams who will each play […]

What happens when you cut part of a network off?

Starting today, the entire country of Sierra Leone started a three-day lockdown. During this time no travel will be allowed across Sierra Leone’s borders. This lockdown will take the world travel network and sever off all the people in the country of Sierra Leone, cutting off all edges in or out of Sierra Leone. Doctors […]

Social Networks and the Diffusion of Happiness

While we know that information can spread through networks, such as information about jobs or contact information, can these be extended to emotional states? James H Fowler and Nicholas A Christakis attempt to explore this question in their research described in their paper Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in […]

Graph Theory and Applications to Scientific Communication

Social networks are a prevalent part of communication in scientific research. Almost 50% of 3000 scientists in a survey conducted by Nature reported that they regularly visit ResearchGate, a social network recently designed especially for researchers, and many others communicate through sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. In particular, as of last June ResearchGate has employed […]

Gaming Religion: Ancient Debts Repaid

Despite the horrendous title, this post is not, in fact, about getting the most spiritual enlightenment possible from your weekly worship. Instead, I’d like to take some time to explain an ancient method of debt collecting laid out in the Mishna, a Jewish text written around 200 CE, and part of a collection of works […]

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