IUP Alumnus Matthews to Speak about Analytic Modeling in Anthropology

Posted on 11/5/2015 4:51:56 PM

Luke Mathews will present a lecture titled “Cultural Evolution from its Primate Origins to Modern Geopolitics” on Wednesday, November 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the HUB Allegheny Room as part of the Anthropology in Action speaker series.

Luke Matthews

In this talk, Matthews shows how analytic models for essential cultural processes can be applied to usefully predict primate foraging, physician medical decisions, and geopolitical change. At its most basic level, culture is socially learned tradition. Culture diffuses among contemporaneous individuals and is inherited vertically by younger generations from older ones. These processes interplay dynamically with each other and with ecology to produce cultural evolution as an emergent property. These cultural dynamics can be modeled by combining empirical data with statistical and agent based models, and many of these models can have useful applications to policy and industry.

Matthews is an alumnus of the Department of Anthropology and Cook Honors College. He was the recipient of the fist Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence.