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 principles


Lee, Edward D., Daniels, Bryan C. "Convenient Interface to Inverse Ising (ConIII): A Python package for solving maximum entropy models." q-bio.QM, (2018). Github for the package located here.

Lee, Edward D. "Strong consensus on US Supreme Court spans a century." 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 (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. doi:10.1007/s10955-015-1253-6. arXiv preprint. In Wired.

Work in progress

Statistical mechanics of US Congress.


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 Krakauer.

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