Joseph Rushton Wakeling 
Science home . neuro . complexity . econo . maths

Current Location


Département de Physique
Université de Fribourg
Chemin du Musée 3
CH-1700 Fribourg

email: joe [@t] webdrake [d.t] net

Skype ID: webdrake

PGP public key
(issued 21/02/2006)

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On 19/20 October 2006 I successfully defended my PhD thesis at the University of Fribourg. The final, rather clunky (IMO) title, was Physics-based approaches to the dynamics of learning, brains and socioeconomic systems. I'm now working for a while with the group of Andrzej Nowak at the University of Warsaw, helping with some interesting economics experiments.

Econophysics, you say? What’s physics got to do with economics? Well... quite a lot in fact. Not only is there a long history of crossover between the two disciplines, but in recent years interest by physicists in economics problems has grown massively.

There are several reasons for this. One is the huge technical progress made in statistical physics over the last 30 years. This has resulted in the development of many exciting mathematical techniques for dealing with the physics of complex systems, and naturally, physicists are looking for new problems to attack with these tools. The economy, as a complex system made up of many interacting variables, is a natural choice.

Other reasons come from within economics itself. There is a growing feeling both inside and outside the economic profession that fundamental aspects of modern ‘neoclassical’ economic theory are flawed. The assumptions made when constructing mathematical models are often unreasonable: for example, assuming that agents are perfectly rational, have complete information about their situation, or have infinite information processing capacity. There is a growing realization that, not only do these theories not adequately describe what is observed in real economic situations, but that there are a host of theoretical reasons why they are inappropriate. Thus, there is a need for alternative viewpoints and mathematical models, and many physicists see this as an opportunity to make some fundamental contributions to a still-young discipline.

This page covers not only my own contributions to this field but also a review of other interesting research papers, books that may be of interest to people looking for a non-traditional view of economics, and a wide variety of links to other econophysics resources.

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This page last updated: 14 January 2009.
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email: joe [@t] webdrake [d.t] net