Collective Behaviour - Winter Seminar Series 2022/23

Prime Numbers and the Evolution of Cooperation

Prof Tim Johnson, Willamette University, USA

This event is part of an event series „CASCB Winter Semester Series 2022/23“.

Social scientists have long described the evolution of cooperation as a central puzzle in their field, just as mathematicians have long recognized the prime numbers as a key area of inquiry in their discipline. In a series of models, I show a connection between these two curiosities, thus raising the possibility that prime-number phenomena influence the evolution of cooperation. Moreover, findings from the models not only make novel predictions about the timing and spatial distribution of cooperative behaviors, but they also highlight the potential for analyzing the evolution of cooperation in light of the fundamental numerical properties of social environments.  

Tim Johnson is the Grace and Elmer Goudy Associate Professor of Public Management and Policy Analysis at Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management. His research has appeared in journals across the sciences, such as Nature and The Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (PNAS), and his popular press articles have appeared online in venues such as The Atlantic and The Milbank Quarterly. His recent research focuses on the role of fundamental numerical properties in the evolution of social behaviour.

Datum: 2022-12-05