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Alje van Dam

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Complex Systems Summer School 2017

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Alje van Dam
Utrecht University - Netherlands

I am a 25 year old Dutch first-year PhD student. I did my BSc and MSc in mathematics and just started my PhD in innovation science. I study the origins of innovation and invention and the conditions that give rise to new knowledge. To do this, I try to quantify how knowledge recombines, the distance between knowledge and the complexity of knowledge using network and information theory. In practice, knowledge is measured through e.g. products, services, patents or occupations. Relatedness can then be measured through co-location or co-classifications, and complexity can be measured by for example the ease of recombination. I am also interested in explaining why complex knowledge scales with city size (in other words, is concentrated in space). I do this by measuring interdependencies between occupations and trying to quantify synergies and redundancies between occupations. In a broader sense I'm interested in cultural evolution, economic development, dynamical systems, percolation and autocatalytic networks.

I like sailing, travel, and going for a beer.