At the intersection of physics and society...
There is an old saying that 'physics is what physicists do.' This doesn't sound very
helpful, but it may be getting at an important point. Academic disciplines have a choice
to define themselves either by their objects of study or by their style of inquiry.
Physics (at its best, I would like to think) is firmly in the second camp. Physicists
make it their business to ask certain kinds of questions about Nature, and to seek
certain kinds of answers. 'Thinking like a physicist' means something, and we are proud
to do it; it is this, above all else, that we try to convey to our students. We are the
intellectual heirs of Galileo, taking seriously his evocative claim that the book of
Nature is written in the language of mathematics.
- William Bialek, Searching for
Lee, Edward D. Strong consensus on US Supreme Court
spans a century. arXiv.org physics.soc-ph, (2017).
Lee, Edward D., Daniels, Bryan C., Krakauer, David C. & Flack,
Jessica C. "Collective memory in primate conflict implied by temporal scaling
collapse." Journal of the Royal Society Interface (2017). Supplementary here.
Sethna, James P., Matthew K. Bierbaum, Karin A. Dahmen, Carl P. Goodrich, Julia R.
Greer, Lorien X. Hayden, Jaron P. Kent-Dobias et al. "Deformation of crystals:
Connections with statistical physics." arXiv preprint arXiv:1609.05838 (2016).
Lee, Edward D., Chase P. Broedersz, and William Bialek. "Statistical Mechanics of the
US Supreme Court." Journal of Statistical Physics, April 10, 2015, 1-27.
015-1253-6. In Wired.
Work in progress
Statistical mechanics of US Congress.
Maximum entropy Python package.
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I have worked with a number of wonderful people and friends across disciplines who
have all been my mentors. Currently, my primary collaborators at Cornell are Itai Cohen
and Giles Hooker and at the Santa Fe Institute Bryan Daniels, Jessica Flack, and David