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.
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.