Alexander M. Petersen

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Understanding how institutional changes within academia may affect the overall potential of science requires a better quantitative representation of how careers evolve over time. Because knowledge spillovers, cumulative advantage, competition, and collaboration are distinctive features of the academic profession, both the employment relationship and the(More)
Reputation is an important social construct in science, which enables informed quality assessments of both publications and careers of scientists in the absence of complete systemic information. However, the relation between reputation and career growth of an individual remains poorly understood, despite recent proliferation of quantitative research(More)
Correctly assessing a scientist's past research impact and potential for future impact is key in recruitment decisions and other evaluation processes. While a candidate's future impact is the main concern for these decisions, most measures only quantify the impact of previous work. Recently, it has been argued that linear regression models are capable of(More)
We analyze the size dependence and temporal stability of firm bankruptcy risk in the US economy by applying Zipf scaling techniques. We focus on a single risk factor--the debt-to-asset ratio R--in order to study the stability of the Zipf distribution of R over time. We find that the Zipf exponent increases during market crashes, implying that firms go(More)
Analyzing a large data set of publications drawn from the most competitive journals in the natural and social sciences we show that research careers exhibit the broad distributions of individual achievement characteristic of systems in which cumulative advantage plays a key role. While most researchers are personally aware of the competition implicit in the(More)
The Matthew effect refers to the adage written some two-thousand years ago in the Gospel of St. Matthew: "For to all those who have, more will be given." Even two millennia later, this idiom is used by sociologists to qualitatively describe the dynamics of individual progress and the interplay between status and reward. Quantitative studies of professional(More)
Publication statistics are ubiquitous in the ratings of scientific achievement, with citation counts and paper tallies factoring into an individual's consideration for postdoctoral positions, junior faculty, and tenure. Citation statistics are designed to quantify individual career achievement, both at the level of a single publication, and over an(More)
We analyze the occurrence frequencies of over 15 million words recorded in millions of books published during the past two centuries in seven different languages. For all languages and chronological subsets of the data we confirm that two scaling regimes characterize the word frequency distributions, with only the more common words obeying the classic Zipf(More)
In finance, one usually deals not with prices but with growth rates R, defined as the difference in logarithm between two consecutive prices. Here we consider not the trading volume, but rather the volume growth rate R, the difference in logarithm between two consecutive values of trading volume. To this end, we use several methods to analyze the properties(More)
We analyze the dynamic properties of 10(7) words recorded in English, Spanish and Hebrew over the period 1800-2008 in order to gain insight into the coevolution of language and culture. We report language independent patterns useful as benchmarks for theoretical models of language evolution. A significantly decreasing (increasing) trend in the birth (death)(More)