Edward (Eddie) Lee, Ph.D.

Collective behavior includes seemingly disparate phenomena across domains of nature, scales of description, and time. This is why it is remarkable that some of the same statistical and dynamical regularities emerge across Life. Is this simply serendipity, our imposition of mathematics on Nature, or the nature of reality? I study collective behavior across physics, biology, and society as lens through which to understand how patterns in Nature reflect universal principles of information and computation, how they arise through mathematics and mechanism, and how they inform intervention and control across complex, adaptive systems. I develop ideas with precise mathematics and in silico experiments inspired by physical models, connecting with detailed data on exquisitely controlled biological systems and building quantitative intuition that extends to the complexity of human society.

I've worked on 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, and Cosmos Magazine.


I am a Program Postdoctoral Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute under Professors Chris Kempes and Geoffrey West. I hold a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Cornell University. I received my A.B. (ordering as in Latin) 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.

One of my main, non-research activities is breakdancing (bboying). I'm a science fiction fan, a coffee drinker, an aspiring science writer, and an aspiring DJ. I live with my very needy but adorable cat Jas—short for Jasmine and pronounced "Jazz." Yes, there's a story.