Our lab aims to have an impact on three fronts: research, training, and communication.
Research: We aspire to produce high-quality, high-impact research with a focus on complex systems. In doing so, we aim to address some of the most pressing challenges facing human societies and the world’s ecosystems.
Training: We strive to provide an environment that fosters the growth of every lab member professionally and personally. We aim to instil in every lab member a love for collaborative, cooperative approaches to research, a respect for all aspects of human knowledge and creativity, and a sense of personal pride in one’s work.
Communication: We aim to communicate the excitement we feel about our work and findings to both our peers in the scientific community and the public at large.
We develop models that provide insight into the emergence, evolution, and stability of complex systems. The development of simple models that provide a “big-picture” description of the system under study drives much of our research. Despite the exponential growth of computational resources, we believe that simple models provide greater insight into a phenomenon than a brute-force implementation of first principles.
This approach allows us to focus on identifying the mechanisms that determine the dynamics of a given system. We then translate these mechanisms into an economical set of rules that can be investigated by computational means.
We firmly believe in the power of meticulous research and the validation of a model’s predictions against empirical or experimental data —- thorough analysis trumps timeliness. If we can gain access to a 1,000 data sets, we will not be satisfied with the analysis of 10 data sets. If we can investigate a million distinct sets of parameter values, we will not be satisfied with the analysis of a handful of sets of parameter values.
We strive for the timely and broad dissemination of our research findings. For this reason, we work to share our findings with the scientific community and the public in the most effective manner available, and using all available media.