Edward D. Lee, Ph.D.

Collective behavior includes seemingly disparate phenomena across domains of nature, scales of description, and time. Yet, why do some of the same statistical and dynamical regularities emerge across nature?

I study collective behavior across fields as a lens to clarify how patterns in nature reflect universal principles of information and representation. The goal is to understand how shared mathematical explanations arise and eventually to leverage them to devise intervention protocols commensurate with the complexity of living, growing, evolving, learning, adaptive systems.

The many systems I've worked with provide a range of perspectives and scales to explore these principles. Example systems include the emergence of blocs in group decision making like in US Supreme Court voting and the spread of conflict in monkey and human societies. Recent ongoing work includes centralization of control in social and biological networks, how firms aggregate information to compete in noisy and uncertain environments, forms of internal biological vs. external stigmergic memory, and local competition in metabolic scaling.

My work has been covered in Wired, Ars Technica, Cosmos Magazine, and Bloomberg Opinion.


I'm a postdoctoral fellow at Complexity Science Hub Vienna leading the Complex Collective and am CEO of Android Dream.

I hold a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Cornell University and received my AB in Physics from Princeton University in 2012. My CV is available here.

You can contact me at [email protected] My GitHub is https://github.com/eltrompetero.

Besides research, I breakdance, am learning to DJ, and live with my very needy but adorable cat Jas.