Preprints and publications

Lee, E. D., Kempes, C. P. West, G.B. Growth, death, and resource competition in sessile organisms. PNAS 118, e2020424118 (2021). DOI:

Lee, E. D., Daniels, B. C., Myers, C. R., Krakauer, D. C., Flack, J. C. Scaling theory of armed-conflict avalanches. Phys. Rev. E 102, 042312 (2020). DOI:

Lee, E. D., Katz, D. M., Bommarito II, M. J., Ginsparg, P. H. Sensitivity of collective outcomes identifies pivotal components. Journal of The Royal Society Interface 17, (2020). DOI:

Lee, E. D., Daniels, B. C., Myers, C. R., Krakauer, D. C., Flack, J. C. "Emergent regularities and scaling in armed conflict data," arXiv:1903.07762 physics.soc-ph cond-mat.stat-mech nlin.AO q-bio.NC (2020).

Lee, E. D., Esposito, Edward, Cohen, Itai. "Audio cues enhance mirroring of arm motion when visual cues are scarce.” Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 16(154), (2018). DOI:

Lee, E. D., Daniels, B. C. "Convenient Interface to Inverse Ising (ConIII): A Python 3 Package for Solving Ising-Type Maximum Entropy Models." Journal of Open Research Software, 7(3):1–8 (2019). DOI:

Lee, E. D. "Partisan Intuition Belies Strong, Institutional Consensus and Wide Zipf's Law for Voting Blocs in US Supreme Court." Journal of Statistical Physics 173(6):1722–1733 (2018). DOI:

Lee, E. D., Daniels, B. C., Krakauer, D. C., Flack, J. C. "Collective Memory in Primate Conflict Implied by Temporal Scaling Collapse." Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 14:20170223 (2017). DOI:

Sethna, J. P., Bierbaum, M. K., Dahmen, K. A., Goodrich, C. P., Greer, J. R., Hayden, L. X., Kent-Dobias, J. P., Lee, E. D., Liarte, D. B., Ni, X., Quinn, K. N. "Deformation of crystals: Connections with statistical physics." Annual Review of Materials Research, 47(14):1–13 (2017). DOI:

Lee, E. D., Broedersz, C. P., Bialek, W. "Statistical Mechanics of the US Supreme Court." Journal of Statistical Physics, 160(2):275–301 (2015). DOI: Freely accessible version here.


I have worked with a number of wonderful people, both friends and mentors, across disciplines. Currently, my collaborators are, at Cornell, Chris Myers; at Arizona State University, Bryan Daniels; at the Santa Fe Institute, Jessica Flack, David Krakauer, Chris Kempes, and Geoffrey West; and, at the Chicago Kent School of Law, Dan Katz and Mike Bommarito.

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 (taken from draft)

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