Spread of Ideas: Research Presentation by Peter Brecke

Primary tabs

The Brown Bag Series sponsored by the International International Affairs Graduate Organization (INTAGO) presents, "Spread of Ideas" with Peter Brecke.

In this presentation, Peter Brecke will describe how the "Spread of Ideas" describes a combination of capabilities whose integration makes feasible simulating the spread of socially important ideas such as attitudes, beliefs, goals, and values among individuals in a population. It integrates seven research fields to do that:
- Epidemiology (simulation of disease spread through a population)
- Agent modeling (simulation of individuals)
- Cultural evolution (evolutionary cultural replicators and self-replicating instructions)
- Memetics (Aaron Lynch’s proto-, symbolic algebra)
- Evolutionary economics (data structures to represent ideas)
- Artificial intelligence (data structures and algorithms for implementing purposive behavior based on ideas such as beliefs, goals, and intentions)
- Social networks (identification and construction of networks)

The talk describes the technological foundations that exist for making such a model, in particular agent-based simulation models of the spread of diseases and insurgency generation. It then articulates the key social process, the "horizontal" transmission of ideas, that would be added to the existing capabilities and how scholars have attempted to understand and model that process. The talk then explains a set of foundations for modeling the transfer of socially important ideas:
- A symbolic algebra for expressing idea transfer events
- Data structures to represent different types of ideas
- Micro-level processes for the acceptance and use of ideas

The Conclusion integrates the foundations to demonstrate feasibility.

**See Flyer.

Peter Brecke is an Associate Professor with the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, and is also the Ivan Allen College Assistant Dean for Information Technology.


  • Workflow Status:
  • Created By:
    Jene Gladstone
  • Created:
  • Modified By:
    Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:

Target Audience

    No target audience selected.