Eddie Lee, PhD

I study collective behavior in nature, aspects of which manifest in physics, biology, and society. I am fascinated by emergent statistical and dynamical regularities; explaining how they arise through mathematics and mechanism; and understanding how they inform intervention and control across complex, adaptive systems. I develop ideas firmly grounded in precise mathematics and in silico experiments inspired by physical models, connecting the ideas with detailed data on highly controlled biological systems and building quantitative intuition that extends to the complexity of human society.

I have worked on the emergence of blocs in group decision making (e.g., voting in the US Supreme Court) and the spread of conflict (e.g., in monkey and human societies). Most recently, I've started thinking about how firms aggregate information to compete in noisy and uncertain environments.

Here's a nice review of the history of the physics of social behavior, and Philip Ball has written an inspiring book, Critical Mass, showing how conceptual frameworks from physics provide insight to social behavior.

My work has been covered in Wired, Ars Technica, Cosmos Magazine, and Cornell Chronicle.


I am a post-doctoral research fellow at the Santa Fe Institute under Professors Jessica Flack and David Krakauer in the Collective Computation Group. 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.