derek ruths || network dynamics


Cells, organizations, and societies share something in common: they are alive. This fact alone suggests that there is much they can teach us about each other.

Living complex systems range in size, function, and composition from microscopic cells to international financial markets. The behavior of these systems emerge out of actions and interactions among the many individual agents that comprise them.

  • What is the interplay between system structure and dynamics that gives rise to each system’s overarching behavior?  
  • Can we use knowledge of a system’s design and composition to predict its behavior?
  • Can we measure and characterize the life cycles of complex systems?

Our lab investigates these and related questions, particularly as they pertain to the robustness of life, the propagation of behavior and knowledge through social networks, and life cycle of human communities.