Solab stands for “self organization lab”. It is a lab run by Whit Tabor at the University of Connecticut.

Self-organization is a natural phenomenon that occurs in a wide variety of domains. Here is a useful working-characterization:

Self-organization: small, autonomously acting, but interacting entities exhibit organized structure at the scale of the group.

Self-organization is attested in physics (e.g., meteorological phenomena), chemistry (e.g., the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction), biology (e.g., social insects), and geology (e.g., patterned ground in Greenland), among other fields. Self-organization is arguably relevant to a number of important societal issues: for example, the challenge of collective action and the formation of shared belief-systems. Though it has been recognized as a phenomenon for decades, it is still a very mysterious phenomenon. To understand it better, it's helpful to have a precise formal handle on the patterning at both the macro- and the micro-levels. Although the micro-level interactions in the above-mentioned fields are often reasonably well-understood, the macro-level structure is hard to characterize. Dr. Tabor has argued that the study of natural language offers a helpful angle on this problem: linguistic theory, combined with the mathematical theory of computation offers precise characterization of macro-level patterning; at the same time, work on artificial neural networks sheds light on the micro-level. Although research projects from these two perspectives are still largely carried out independently, Solab is focused on bringing them together. The lab’s approach is to examine the language case to understand self-organization more deeply, while allowing societal relevance to influence the global path of the research.

Contact Info

Phone: (860) 486-3515
Address: Department of Psychology, U-1020
Storrs, CT 06269-1020