Fabio over on orgtheory is asking what Mathematical Sociology has done for the discipline lately:

Here’s a question: what are the main contributions of mathematical sociology? Although I’ve published a little bit on the topic, I don’t know things deeply enough to provide examples. So I am asking our friends at Permutations (and our readers) to provide examples.

Seems like he’s calling us out. So what do we think?

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2009 at 3:36 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Cross-posted (in edited form)
Like other commenters, I strongly dispute the suggestion that theorems proved is the only measure of the contributions of mathematical sociology. But I do think that theorem proving is great, and when it comes to theorem proving, I’m going to go ahead and bite the bullet. There are no theorems proven by sociologists as important as the ones that Fabio cites in economics.

Possible partial explanations:

1. The content sociologists are interested in is harder to express in mathematical theorems. I think its conceivable that there is something to this but this doesn’t mean that the marginal utility of theorem proving is lower in sociology.

2. Sociology has under-valued theorem proving. I think this is true, but it’d be hard to prove.

3. The people drawn to sociology are, on average, less mathematically oriented. This is undeniably true, but one could argue it is merely an effect of explanations 1 and/or 2.

Cross-posted (in edited form)

Like other commenters, I strongly dispute the suggestion that theorems proved is the only measure of the contributions of mathematical sociology. But I do think that theorem proving is great, and when it comes to theorem proving, I’m going to go ahead and bite the bullet. There are no theorems proven by sociologists as important as the ones that Fabio cites in economics.

Possible partial explanations:

1. The content sociologists are interested in is harder to express in mathematical theorems. I think its conceivable that there is something to this but this doesn’t mean that the marginal utility of theorem proving is lower in sociology.

2. Sociology has under-valued theorem proving. I think this is true, but it’d be hard to prove.

3. The people drawn to sociology are, on average, less mathematically oriented. This is undeniably true, but one could argue it is merely an effect of explanations 1 and/or 2.

Looks like Org Theory got all the comments. Matthew Effects, anyone?

Yeah… not too surprising, or unjustified. We just need to keep trying to write posts here that people want to link to and comment on.