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Photograph of Eleanor Harris

Eleanor Harris Research Assistant Professor-in-Residence Environmental Science

BA Chicago; PhD Princeton

Dr. Eleanor Harris (Burch) is Managing Director of the Clifton Institute. Her research on social systems' evolution explores how social groups maintain cohesion, process information, and perform collective computations, despite conflicts of interest between their members. To study these phenomena, she develops and analyzes mathematical models inspired by biological systems, grounded in empirical data, and using methods from a number of fields, including stochastic calculus, dynamical systems, evolutionary game theory, and information theory. Collectives and social groups can be found at all biological scales, from the neurons making up a brain to complex human societies. By using general mathematical models and data from multiple model systems, she aims to apply the insights gained from studying one system to others with similar structure and to identify common principles of sociality across systems.
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