Collective Social Phenomena: Dynamics and Data (25w5326)


Nancy Rodriguez (CU Boulder)

Maria-Rita D'Orsogna, (California State Unviersity at Northridge)

Kresimir Josic (University of Houston)

Chad Topaz (Williams College)

Heather Zinn-Brooks (Harvey Mudd College)


The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) will host the "Collective Social Phenomena: Dynamics and Data" workshop in Oaxaca, from June 8 to June 13, 2025.

Collective behavior reflects group dynamics, emerges spontaneously, and is ubiquitous in natural and social systems: cells organize to create tissue and subsequently organs, billions of locusts travel in an organized manner for hundreds or kilometers, and people spontaneously converge to protest. For decades, researchers have been working to understand how unorganized individual actions lead to these global patterns and processes with a high level of organization. Recent advances have been made through the use of mathematical frameworks to understand the global dynamics of organized behaviors. However, a number of challenges remain. First, generally, models err on the side of parsimony and often assume that individuals and the environment are homogeneous. This assumption can lead to misleading conclusions. Second, with the increased popularity of social media, the flow of information, which helps generate collective behaviors, has changed our social systems and we do not have a clear understanding of how. A core objective of this workshop is to bring together a diverse set of experts to discuss ideas on how we can bridge the gap in our knowledge of the effect that diversity in human behavior and the flow of information online has on social processes. Bridging this gap can help understand and manage social systems that are critical and maintain a healthy democracy, a healthy planet, and manage global crises. A second core objective is to identify new mathematical approaches to understanding social collective behavior by combining nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, decision theory, and data science.

The Casa Matemática Oaxaca (CMO) in Mexico, and the Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) in Banff, are collaborative Canada-US-Mexico ventures that provide an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station in Banff is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology.