Thursday, March 27, 2014
12:30 PM
Goergen Hall, Room 101
Gourab Ghoshal
Harvard University
The physics of complex systems through the lens of networks
The dynamics of systems in the real world are often the result of the interplay between their myriad structural constituents. Their bulk properties emerge as a manifestation of collective behavior and multiple subsystems where very frequently ďthe whole is greater than the (simple) sum of its partsĒ. Systems with these properties are broadly classified as emergent or complex systems. Very frequently, it turns out that they consist of many interconnected components and consequently, the science of networks is an important aspect of studying complex systems.

I am a theoretical physicist with a strong interest both in analytic and computational modeling as well as their experimental and observational tests. My current research interests falls within the purview of the Physics of Living Systems from the macroscopic level involving the study of societal entities such as cities and social media, all the way down to the microscopic level where Iím studying biologically inspired chemical models for cells.

In this talk, I will focus on some of my work that falls in the intersection of Big Data and Complex Networks. Specifically I'll discuss some of my past and current work related to efficacy of search in knowledge databases and the emergence and characterization of trends in Social Media and other societally generated systems. Time permitting I'll touch upon some other aspects of my research program and outline directions for the future.

Gourab Ghoshal currently holds a Research Scientist appointment at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. Prior to this he got his Bachelorís and Masterís degree in Theoretical Physics from the University of London, UK and a PhD in Statistical Physics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Following this, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Complex systems at Harvard Medical School/Northeastern University and a Visiting Research Scholar at the Media Lab, MIT.

His research interests are in the fields of Complex Systems (primarily in the theory and applications of Complex Networks) as well as Non-equilibrium Statistical Physics, Game theory, Econophysics, Dynamical Systems and the Origins of Life. He is the editor of a book on Complex Networks (published by Springer) and his work has been published in Nature, Science and Physical Review Letters.