Prateek Verma

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

Revision as of 17:29, 29 July 2015 by (talk)
Complex Systems Winter School 2015

Hi, I am a PhD student in the department of Physical Sciences at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata (IISER-K). I am interested in the subject of evolutionary dynamics which provides a quantitative framework for understanding evolution. I am fascinated with the problem of evolution of cooperation, social dilemma and origin of life. I am particularly intrigued by the application of various mathematical techniques for understanding complex social phenomenon happening all around us and how same mathematical principles may be employed for understanding evolution at different scales. The long term goal of my research is to develop quantitative models and methods for understanding evolution at all scales ranging from protocells to societies. The short term goal is to understand the collective consequences of social decision making in diverse scenarios. I got the opportunity to study the subject of evolutionary dynamics in my BS-MS course work at IISER-Kolkata. There I acquired the basic knowledge and learned the tools for carrying out research in this field. I also presented two scientific papers during the course work. My MS dissertation was an evolutionary game theoretic study of bribery which provides a scenario for studying the dynamics of social conflict. This study was concentrated on a specific class of bribery called harassment bribes. Harassment bribes are those paid by citizens to corrupt officers for services the former are legally entitled to. Nation states have adopted different policies to address this form of corruption. While some countries make both the bribe giver and the bribe taker equally liable for the crime, others impose a larger penalty on corrupt officers. We examined the consequences of asymmetric and symmetric penalties by developing deterministic and stochastic evolutionary game-theoretic models of bribery. This work has recently been submitted for publication. Working on this problem has helped me to gain a deeper understanding of evolutionary dynamics. I have applied the concepts of replicator dynamics, generating function technique for solving master equation, transition matrix and Agent Based Simulation (ABS) etc. in my MS dissertation. I have taken courses in statistical physics, non-linear dynamics, biophysics, networks and graphs, bioinformatics, cognition etc. as a part of course work during BS-MS and PhD. I also enjoy programing which has been quite useful for me in my research. I am familiar with Matlab, Mathematica, Python, Perl, Fortran and Netlogo which is a multi-agent programmable modeling environment. I have developed codes for simulating various aspects of understanding the evolution of cooperation. The complex systems winter school will be a great opportunity for me to learn about new areas of research and enrich my existing knowledge of the field. The lectures on adaptation and evolution, networks structure and dynamics, computer modeling, non-linear dynamics etc. will be useful in my research. Various other topics in the school also have substantial overlap with my field of interest. Finally the school will also provide a good opportunity for me to meet and learn from my peers, people from different backgrounds sharing common interests. Besides my research I love mythology, philosophy, history and politics.