Scott E. Page

Scott E. Page

Fellow: Awarded 2013

Field of Study: Political Science

Competition: US & Canada

Website: http://vserver1.cscs.lsa.umich.edu/~spage/

Scott E. Page is the Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics at the University of Michigan and an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute.  Scott has previously taught at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Iowa.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in Managerial Economics and Decision Science from the J. L. Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

Scott's research over the past decade has focused on the roles that diversity plays in complex social systems.  He has written three books The Difference, Complex Adaptive Social Systems, and Diversity and Complexity.  All three explore this interplay between diversity and complexity.   He relies on mathematical and computational models to explore how diversity comes to be, how it is maintained, and how it contributes functional properties such as robustness and innovativeness to systems.  His research combines insights and techniques from a variety of disciplines, including economics, political science, physics, biology, ecology, and computer science.

Scott has received numerous awards, grants, and honors for his research and teaching including being elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He has also been an early participant in teaching online courses—his Model Thinking class has attracted nearly 200,000 students.

He will be using his Guggenheim Fellowship to connect his current research on diversity within complex systems with the literature in which he was formally trained, namely that of equilibrium analysis of institutions and mechanism design.  He will explore how institutions—through incentive and informational structures—encourage and constrain various types of diversity and whether they produce the right kinds and levels of diversity. This exploration will require a deep intellectual dive into how a complexity frame of institutions differs from an equilibrium frame.  The project will involve collaborations with political scientists, mathematical economists, sociologists, and social psychologists.