How to Quantify Success
June 18, 2013
A growing number of researchers have begun developing creative ways to measure success from a quantitative point of view, from analyzing citation patterns to number-crunching presidential elections.
On Monday at a daylong conference, more than two dozen economists, physicists, mathematicians, and social scientists convened to discuss the quantitative laws and patterns governing high achievement. The inaugural Science of Success Symposia was hosted by Harvard’s Institute of Quantitative Social Science and organized by Northeastern’s Center for Complex Network Research, which currently focuses on systems biology and social networks.
“We’re trying to mathematically describe and predict what it means to have success and how to achieve it,” said network scientist Albert-László Barabási, Distinguished Professor of Physics and director of the Center for Complex Network Research.
Success, he said, is a collective phenomenon. “In a way,” he explained, “you are successful because others around you believe you are.”