The most active and well known scientists contributing towards FuturICT project have organized their ideas into few articles, which discuss the current situation in contemporary complex social system modeling. These articles we published in a special issue of “The European Physical Journal Special Topics”. Most of the articles are available for free, thus we invite you to familiarize yourselves with them.
Recently on my Facebook news feed I found one article, which was rather interesting. “Teaching mathematics differently?” – ironical thought crossed my mind, while at the same time recalling some stand up comedians telling “wild” stories about the problem-based learning. It is truly funny to hear that children nowadays are forced to help the squirrel to count the nuts! Or to solve another default setup: “10 apples + 4 pears = 48 Litas, while 5 apples + 6 pears = 32 Litas, if so then how many Litas does a single apple or pear cost?” Why should anyone solve this problem in this way? Can’t the client just look up the price tags? Or check his receipt? Continue reading “Teaching math in a different way” »
Econophysics is not a very well known interdisciplinary field of research in Lithuania. There are very few Lithuania based scientists who are related to this very young and rapidly developing branch of Physics. Therefore we, being ones of the few, feel an obligation to introduce Econophysics to the other scientists, businessmen and the whole broader society. In this text we will discuss the basic ideas, current trends and the most common problems relevant to the field of Econophysics.
The name of Econophysics implies the application of physics, mostly the methods taken from Statistical Physics, to the Economics. Though until recently most of the econophysicists used to focus on the financial markets. Currently the field is expanding very rapidly and now concerns something more than just regular Economics or Finance – many physicists now attempt to tackle problems in the other social sciences. For these broader approaches there are other overlapping terms including Sociophysics, Physics of Risk, Physics of Socio-Economic Systems and other.
At this point we would like to stop the discussion on the use of the terminology. Recall that the aim of this text is somewhat different from that. We aim to familiarize you with the Econophysics! Continue reading “Vygintas Gontis: Econophysics – brand new outlook into social sciences” »
The creators of the well known science related web comic offer everybody a chance to become familiar with the open access philosophy (video taken from http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?n=1533).
Previously, approximately 2 years ago, we have written that we published a review of our works 1 in a book by open-access publisher. Recently we discovered that during the recent two and a half years this books was downloaded almost 7000 times (namely 8 times per day). It was downloaded by the people all around the world – with the USA, China, India, Japan, Germany being the most active countries in the process. It is an excellent result!
While being happy with excellent “diffusion” of our ideas via open-access publisher, we would also like to speak about the improving statistics of the Physics of Risk website. In 2012 we expect to be visited 12 thousand times! It is slightly better than in 2011, in which we had 11 thousand visits. Improvement is small, yet promising a bright future. Continue reading “Download rates of our open-access review” »
In October 2012 our group has familiarized themselves with this interesting theory. Few seminars, which were held at VU ITPA, on the stochastic theory of nonequilibrium steady states were read by dr. Julius Ruseckas, one the researchers in our group. This theory is discussed in two articles recently published in the Physical Reports journal 1, 2. Read on Continue reading “On the stochastic theory of nonequilibrium steady states” »
Quantum mechanics and statistical physics use very similar and inter-connected concepts. Ex. the latter is concerned with distribution and probabilities, while the former operates with wave functions and amplitudes. Even the essential equations, master and Shrodinger, appear to be similar:
The only difference is the imaginary factor i! But these similarities lie just on the surface… Continue reading “Quantum mechanics + statistical physics = ?” »
Previously (ex. while speaking about the multifractality of time series) we have already discussed that fractals are observed in many daily phenomena. Interestingly enough we can eat fractals for our breakfast! Recently we have found an article 1 which studies fractal structures, 1/f-like noise in ham! Continue reading “Fractals in pork!” »
Traditionally it is thought that economics and physics are very different irreconcilable sciences. Physicists sometimes claim that economists are aware only of addition and subtraction, while only very rarely they attempt to use multiplication or even division. Economists on the other hand think that physicists are busy dividing molecules into atoms, create atomic weapons and lasers and are able to fix AC sockets, while having absolutely no understanding in other, nontechnical, fields. Evidently this oversimplified thinking is incorrect – economics and physics have things in many common. And with the time more common things are discovered.
Modern science strongly relies on the computer modeling. Most of the models in the complexity science, the object of the Physics of Risk, requires computer modeling and usually may not be dealt with analytically. For a person familiar with the computer modeling it should be known that the variety computer algorithms is very large and that there also is a variety of ways to understand these algorithms. Thus each person might solve the same complex task slightly differently and thus produce slightly different results. This brings us to the point that in order to comprehend what has been done by a certain scientist one should not only study the equations and assumptions made by him, but one also needs to have access to the source code of the software used by that certain scientist.
Yet there is still a problem that only few scientists to make the source code of their software public available. This behavior is not very desired as in order to reproduce the same results other scientists must make a lot of efforts. Some times the attempts to reproduce published results fail. This problem may be solved by encouraging adoption of the open source ideas by the scientific community.
We, the contributors of Physics of Risk, have already faced the negative effects of the closed source culture, thus most of our models made available on Physic of Risk are published together with their source code. Though it is well hidden inside the applet’s JAR archive (open it with any modern archiver, inside you should find java file, which contains the source code).
Read more on open source software in science in Nature Editorial “If you want reproducible science, the software needs to be open source”.