Gergen Lectures

Martin Nowak
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Lecture 1: The evolution of language
What sets us apart from other animals is the ability to talk about everything. Mathematical models help us to formulate an evolutionary theory of human language. I will discuss how populations evolve and maintain a coherent lexicon and universal grammar.

General Lecture: Fairness and cooperation
Darwin's theory of evolution is based on competition and does not easily account for fairness or cooperation. Yet many animals, most notably humans, engage in cooperative and altuistic interactions. In the ultimatum game, humans prefer fairness over rationality. I will present mathematical models and games illuminating the evolution of cooperation and fairness.

Lecture 2: Virus dynamics
Mathematical models have been developed to describe the dynamics of virus infections. This has led to detailed insights into how viruses reproduce and evolve within infected patients. The models provide a quantitative understanding for the success and failure of HIV combination therapy and help to design efficient treatment regimens.

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