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Evolutionarily Stable Strategies in Polarization of Politics

In class and on homework we studied evolutionarily stable strategies in a number of different contexts. First, and most obviously, we saw them in the context of biological evolution. There are countless fascinating articles online showing evolutionarily stable traits that species have evolved over time. For example, developing cheek pads for male orangutans is an […]

Information Cascades in the Brain

The human brain is prone to information cascades.  Studies have shown that people who receive inside information tend to change their behavior more than would be justified by the information alone.  This effect is due to an information cascade in the brain.  Getting special private information can make you feel special, and your brain might […]

Predicting Epidemics Using Social Networks

In 2010, Nicholas Christakis gave a fascinating TED talk about how we might use social networks predict epidemics before they happen.  He compares this hypothetical advanced warning to the current system of epidemic information gathering used by the CDC.  By compiling data from doctors and reporters in various regions about how many patients are sick, […]

Children’s Card Games: Modeling Trading Card Games as a Diffusion in Innovation

Collectible card games have steadily gained traction in the past 20 years and have now become a viable business with a large network of dedicated consumers. Different games may vary in game play, but their success is all based on a direct benefit effect. Due to the nature of card games, the trading card game […]

Is it Viral?

Finding the secret recipe for a viral video is extremely enticing as many of the popular YouTube celebrities earn millions off of advertising revenue. In a paper from Chapman University, researchers attempt to derive a mathematical calculation for the probability that a piece of content goes viral. Using Facebook networks as a research tool, the […]

The ‘Wired’ Universe of Organic Chemistry

Network theory shows promising insight into the future of organic chemistry and the ability to optimize reaction pathways in order to reduce costs. By considering molecules to be nodes and reactions the arrows connecting them, a complex network forms, giving rise to apparent trends that previously went unnoticed. With three distinct regions, including a core, […]

Low Fat Diet Cascade

Recently in class we have gone over the concept of an information cascade, which is where people make decisions based upon the consensus of the crowd rather than what they actually believe. A prime example of an information cascade is of two competing restaurants. If one restaurant is much busier than the other then more […]

Flesh Easting Disease Spreads in Syria

In Syria, a relatively new disease that eats human flesh has been spreading since 2013 due to an increase in dead bodies and the collapse of the Syrian Health Care system since the country’s civil war started. Called Leishmaniasis, the spread of this disease has been blamed on ISIS (or Daesh) for their contribution to the number […]

Chipotle Suffers From E. Coli Outbreak

Just recently, one of our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, Chipotle, suffered from a dive in shares. Nine states have reported cases of E. Coli outbreaks linked to Chipotle restaurants. The restaurant has tracked the origin of the outbreak to restaurants in Washington and Oregon, and has taken precaution during the initial investigation by closing these locations. […]

Market Power and Regulation

Jean Tirole, a French economist focusing on industrial organization and microeconomics, won the 2014 Nobel Prize. Unlike many other Nobel winners, he is not a fan of free-market. When a market is dominated by a small number of firms, supracompetitive price will be charged on consumers. If these companies are left unregulated, there could be […]

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Blogging Calendar

December 2015