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Preisverleihung des Young Scientist Award 2003

AWARD 2004

"Illes Farkas has received Young Scientist Award for Socio- and Econophysics from the AKSOE"

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Find the press release here (German:PDF)

During the annual conference of the AKSOE in Regensburg, March 8 - 12, 2004, which was part of the March meeting of the German Physical Society, Dr. Illes Farkas has received the YOUNG SCIENTIST AWARD FOR SOCIO- AND ECONOPHYSICS.

AKSOE (http://www.ais.fraunhofer.de/~frank/AKSOE) is a section of the German Physical Society (DPG) devoted to the "Physics of Socio-Economic Systems". One of our aims is to foster research on these topics in Germany and to coordinate our activities and those of similar societies across Europe. Our objective is also to interest young physicists in economic, urban, and social problems.

The YOUNG SCIENTIST AWARD FOR SOCIO- AND ECONOPHYSICS recognizes outstanding original contributions that use physical methods to develop a better understanding of socio-economic problems. It was sponsored by McKinsey & Company with an endowment of EUR 5,000. and is intended for young scientists (f/m) not older than 35 years.

For the award, in 2004 we have received 21 nominations (from ten countries) for qualified candidates currently working in ten different countries, which have been evaluated by an international jury.

The winning candidate, Dr. Illes Farkas (age 27) graduated from Eotvos University Budapest, Hungary, in 2000, were he also received his Ph.D in Physics in 2003 (thesis advisor Tamas Vicsek).

By applying tools of statistical many-particle physics, Dr. Farkas has made important contributions to the modeling of human collective behavior. He could show that during critical circumstances, e.g. in panic situations, the collective dynamics of human crowds follows relatively simple rules and thus can be realistically modeled within computational physics. Further, dynamic analogies between human cooperative behavior and structure formation in exitable media could be pointed out.

The results of Dr. Farkas have far-reaching implications in the social and behavioral sciences, and find also applications in the design and development of evacuation scenarios for large buildings or mass events.
For instance, the software package developed by Dr. Farkas is used to detect critical conditions under which "jamming" of human crowds may turn into human catastrophes.

His findings have initiated a lot of new research during the past years, to the advantage of the field of Socio- and Econophysics.

Frank Schweitzer
Chairman of AKSOE

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