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.
Many moons ago, when I was the grand old age of about eight, a school friend told me that I was going to be a scientist. I protested loudly at the time. And now I find myself... Hmm. Interesting.
Here is the history, post-school: I (me; Joseph Wakeling) studied maths first of all, at Imperial College, London, where I obtained an MSci degree and an Associateship of the Royal College of Science. Then in my final year I completely changed my mind about what I wanted to work on and started getting interested in the brain and neural systems, and more generally in the physics of complex systems and something called self-organized criticality. Courtesy of all these interests I now find myself at the University of Fribourg studying for a PhD in theoretical physics as part of the econophysics research group there.
If this all sounds a pretty wide range of stuff to be taking in — well, you are right! But this, I think, is one of the most exciting things about modern science: the old boundaries between disciplines are coming down and it is now, perhaps not common, but at least not incredible, to find biologists, physicists, economists and others all working together on different problems of common interest. These pages delve into some of these problems, covering both my own work and that of others which I think is worth investigating. I hope you find it interesting too!