Jie Shao

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki


I am a second-year PhD student in Zoology at the University of Oklahoma. My research interests are focused on the spontaneous increase of diversity in a digital ecosystem, particularly through the interactions among organisms. Those interactions create an ever-changing biotic environment with novel niches and thus may drive the continuous emergence of new species as well as maintain the diversity (coexistence of multiple interacting species) in the ecosystem. In my free time, I enjoy listening to Chinese classic music and playing basketball.

Answers to the Questions:

1. What topics do you have some expertise in and would you be willing to help others learn them?

I have some expertise in artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, nonlinear dynamics and chaos, pattern formation, computational neuroscience, statistic mechanics, evolution and ecology.

2. What do you want to learn?

I would like to learn self-organized criticality and phase transition in biological systems, agent-based modeling, information theory and quantum information.

3. Do you have any projects that would benefit from interdisciplinary approach?

My current project focuses on how the diversity could spontaneously arise in an ecosystem and the impact of diversity on the evolution of the ecosystem.

4. Do you have any ideas for what sort of project you would like to attack this summer?

I would like to do a project related to self-organized criticality and phase transition in an evolving system or the adaptive radiation triggered by the innovation in organisms.

5. What's your favorite "big problem"?

The mechanisms underlie the occurrence of major transitions in the life history.

6. If you were given the opportunity to see where we were in one hundred years with respect to progress on one problem/subject, what would it be?

I would like to see those general principles which make it possible to reconstruct the evolution process on earth.