Walking in a crowd, how do (and don’t) people go with the flow?

How don’t and do pedestrians collide? Ig Nobel Prize winner Alessandro Corbetta, a physicist based at Eindhoven University of Technology, explains, in this short video. The 2021 Ig Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to Alessandro Corbetta, Jasper Meeusen, Chung-min Lee, Roberto Benzi, and Federico Toschi, for conducting experiments to learn why pedestrians do not […]

Smelly people in the office [podcast #78]

Smelly people in the smelly workplace — that’s the dilemma and joy of this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on Play.it, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams  — with dramatic readings by FYFD fluid dynamicist Nicole Sharp — tells about: Hugging and what it means, maybe — “Smell Organization: Bodies and Corporeal Porosity in Office Work,” Kathleen Riach […]

“Inelegant Mathematics and Worse Social Science?”

For a while, a long while ago, some people thought they would soon make computers simulate the ways people behave with each other. This paper, published in 1974, suggested that maybe such things would not be simple or easy: “Computer Simulations: Inelegant Mathematics and Worse Social Science?“, Hayward R. Alker, International Journal of Mathematical Education […]

To deal with climate change… make people smaller

The plan to engineer a shorter, smaller human race to cope with climate change is almost as big and bold as the schemes of people working to convince themselves climate change won’t affect them. The plan, at this point still sketchy, has three engineers. S Matthew Liao [pictured here] is a professor of bioethics at New York University. Anders Sandberg and Rebecca […]