Young Scientist Award 2009Duncan Watts received the Young Scientist Award 2009.
From the award certificate:
Prof. Watts’ research integrates social science, graph theory, and dynamical systems theory: He explores the structure and function of technological, biological and social networks, on which we all depend, and which we are all part of.
Duncan Watts is best known for the empirical finding that many real-world networks of diverse origin exhibit very short average path lengths, commonly known as the „small world effect”. He introduced the first model for such networked systems, which are neither completely ordered nor completely random, and which became famous as the Watts-Strogatz model.
Duncan Watts made significant contributions to the study of spreading and contagion in networks, showing that the spreading of diseases and rumours are two extremes of one universal model. Moreover, his analysis of social identity greatly advanced our understanding of the searchability of social networks.
Duncan Watts has established and continues to shape the emerging field of complex networks research, and he is among the pioneers to harness the power of modern information technology for large-scale web experiments exploring human behaviour.
As a physicist and professor of sociology, Prof. Duncan Watts, through his deep and influential contributions towards a better understanding of social interactions and dynamics, has developed innovative approaches that have built bridges between physics and the social and economic sciences, which is acknowledged by this prize.
-read the Φ·SOE newsletter (October 2009) featuring the YSA 2009 winner Duncan Watts