The new collective-behavior website is possible because we are having fun. Our research group has decided to spend Fridays each week both communicating what we do to a wider audience and to use our skills on problems we don't normally deal with. This approach makes us think more widely and sharpen up our communication skills. But most of all it is fun!
We were partially inspired by Google Fridays where employees were given 20% of their time to think creatively and come up with new ideas. In one sense, we are doing the opposite. Everyday scientific research should be about investigating new ideas, we are having fun on Fridays by turning these ideas in to something we can show to people: be it a game, an analysis of current affairs, or just a clear description of our recent research. But we also learn by having fun, and many of the ideas that have come up these last Fridays may well turn in to 'proper' research projects.
More 'Fun Friday' inspired pages will come out in the next few weeks. Teddy is finished his cicada music video and Maksym is putting the final touches to his fish Turing test. This morning, myself, Viktoria and Teddy were interviewed for Swedish Radio who are making a documentary on applications of mathematics. In the afternoon, Milena tried out her 'segregation experiment' on us. We took a few pictures to show just how much fun we are having.
Viktoria explains why studying democracy with mathematics is useful.
Stam, Ernest and Maksym see if they can get the Fish Turing Test to load on their phones.
Milena teaches us about segregation by playing a game.