Alvis HT Tang

Imagine there is a cave inhabited by prisoners who have been chained since childhood. Behind the prisoners a fire casts a shadow of the surrounding including themselves onto a wall in front of them. However, they are not aware that the image on the wall is just a projection of their world.

What the prisoners see is a projection of their world on the wall. The real world is, however, not seen by them. The prisoners cannot move nor turn their head around to see outside the cave. They can never see those people or the things causing the shadows in real, but the projection of these objects. The shadow is thus regarded as the reality of the surrounding since they never see the real objects.

Now a lucky prisoner is set free. He can walk and explore the real world around. He soon discovers that the shadow he saw only displays a rough projection of a single aspect of the surrounding. The real world is much richer than he has imagined before.

Life in this cave resembles some aspects of human reality. What we see are mere projections, but the actual reality is always hidden without our awareness.

Alvis HT Tang is a practitioner of divergent and critical thinking, keen on pursuing intellectual discussion and linking knowledge to create new insights. He has an innately critical mind to find possible explanations for a phenomenon from unconventional angles. He is a lucky prisoner who is able to break the chain to contribute a better understanding of the actual world.

Alvis at the moment is an explorer of nature at the Centre for Complexity Science and Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London, with Prof. Henrik Jensen as the safari guide for his PhD degree.

His research focuses are firm dynamics, probability estimation, information flow in networks, evolution and emergence. In particular, the regularities of business patterns lead him to ponder the hidden mystery.

Before joining the group, Alvis has substantial experience in the technology sector for years. He obtained a BSc Physics degree at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a MSc Applied Mathematics degree with Distinction at Imperial College London.

Specialties: Firm Dynamics, Probability Estimation, Network Analysis, Parallel Computing, Web Technology, System Architecture

Computer Languages: CUDA, C++, Node.js, Java Script, PHP, SQL, Mongo, BigQuery, .NET (C#, VB), Mathematica, MATLAB

Research Keywords: firm dynamics dynamics non-equilibrium dynamicsevolutionary dynamics, econophysics, network stability, networks, complex systems, economic networksself-organised criticality (SOC)criticality, percolation and universality.

The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of every day thinking.

Albert Einstein

Recent Blogs

  • Should I Believe My Conclusion?

    Confirmation bias is the most toxic psychological substance in modern science. It is not difficult to find a publication which has an eye-catching p-value but questionable conclusion. Researchers tend to publish as soon as possible whenever they get an indicator confirming their hypothesis or theory, forgetting there exists something called false positive.

  • What is money?

    Money is really important to the economy, and us too. But what do we understand about money?

    Well, to the majority of people, money merely a store of wealth and more importantly a medium for trade. How much you’ve earned equals how much worth of the object you can obtain. But the reality is that it could be quite complicated when one consider the money supply, which contributes to inflation or deflation.

  • Emergence of Insight

    Insight is a profound experience which frequently appears unconsciously in a very short moment like light flashes in our mind. It is always interesting to understand how these moments could help us to solve complicated problems, which even intensive logical thinking cannot handle it.

Research Interest

  • The Acupuncture on Economic Network

    System analysis from the perspective of complexity is an emerging field of science. In order to understand the whole picture, one must look from different angles and combine different approaches.

    The vision of the project is to find a better way to evaluate the state of an economic network, and hence to determine possible signs of instability, and identifying the acupuncture points which control the evolutionary direction of such network back to normal state to avoid catastrophic events. Analysis to the interconnection of a network has a more promising insight than examining merely a falling component. It is believed that there exist a leading mechanism in real economic evolving network.