Power Laws: Hype or Revelation

sex is scale freeOver the MIT Independent Activities Period (IAP) I’ll be teaching a course about the recent trend of power laws in various academic disciplines and applications, from disease propogation to weblogs. The course will be held over the month of January and include a few guest lecutures by researchers doing some of the most important work in this area. The course webpage can be found here:

Power Laws: Hype or Revelation?

Furthermore we’re hoping the site will become a repository for papers on the topic and the debate over what place power laws have in the grander academic world.

6 thoughts on “Power Laws: Hype or Revelation

  1. cam,

    an excellent and timely topic. i’ve been doing some of my own cooking and here are a couple of papers that i think you should discuss, dealing with mesoscale structural and dynamical properties of such networks:

    Aldana M, Cluzel P. A natural class of robust networks. PNAS 100:8710, 2003

    Spirin V, Mirny LA. Protein complexes and functional modules in molecular networks. PNAS 100:12123, 2003

    leonid mirny is at the mit, so you may wanna invite him (very important observation in his paper).

    hope all is well,
    a

  2. Thanks Alex! We were trying to come up with some bio-related references since it’s apparently becoming a suggested paradigm shift there as well, but our meager interdiscipinary skills (coupled with a horrible interdepartmental infrastructure here at MIT) precluded us. I’ll have to talk to this Mirny fellow.

  3. i also don’t get it, but mike shlesinger does:

    E. W. Montroll and M. F. Shlesinger. On 1/f noise and other distributions with long tails. PNAS 79:3380, 1982

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