Timo Ehrig

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

I am looking forward to meeting you in Beijing!

I am currently working in the group of Jürgen Jost at the Max-Planck-Institute in Leipzig, Germany.

I like dancing, music, sport and meeting other people.

A photo of me:

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

I have some experience in organization science, economic sociology and economics. In particular, I have some experience in modeling expectations in natural language and could help others to learn about this topic.

I developed a diagramming technique to translate texts, and human expectations on the future, into logical diagrams in collaboration with Louis Kauffman. I gave a course on this technique at UIC, and I can introduce the technique to interested participants.

2. What do you want to learn at the CSSS?

I hope to extend my toolbox of mathematical models that can be useful to model social and economical systems. In particular, I hope to learn about models that are helpful in understanding aggregate human behavior. In particular I hope to get some ideas on how to model collective cognition: Cognitive processes in which the building blocks of the reasoning are outside of the individual brains. For instance, hypothesis on the future seem to be collectively negotiated in a shared language. What are appropriate mathematical models to understand this process?

3. Do you have any projects or research interests that would benefit from an interdisciplinary approach?

Yes! I have one big project, that is to enquire how we can understand basic properties of Expectation Formation in Natural Language can be explored.�

Take the example of some novel phenomenon like Google. How do humans build expectations on the novel phenomenon? How do they apply experience while reasoning about the novel situation? If there are different viewpoints on a novel situation, how is the dynamic of humans choosing between and integrating the viewpoints?

4. Do you have any ideas for what sort of project you would like to do work on with other CSSS students this summer?

It would be great to work on a model of the dynamics of expectation formation, given some novel situation. I will bring some empirical data that we generated on the recent attempt of Microsoft to buy Yahoo! Maybe there is a chance to use this data and to build a model in which basic properties of cognitive interaction at face of novelty can be explored.

5. Suppose you could travel one-hundred years in the future and ask researchers any three questions. What would those questions be?

1. How is it that humans finally found out that co-operation is better than war, and that the total percentage of wars in the 21st century could be reduced by 70%? 2. How is it that people got uninterested in economics around 2070? Why did everybody suddenly got more interested in spiritual questions? And how did you react to the subsequent slowdown in technological progress? 3. How did we finally solve the problem of time-traveling?