Péter Érdi

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Péter Érdi
Born (1946-12-12) December 12, 1946 (age 70)
Budapest, Hungary
Nationality Hungary, United States
Fields Complex Systems, Computational Neuroscience, Cybernetics
Institutions Kalamazoo College, Wigner Research Centre for Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Alma mater Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
Notable awards Henry R. Luce Professor (2002-)
Széchenyi Professorship (1998-2002)

Péter Érdi is a Hungarian born computational neuroscientist who now lives in Michigan, United States where he is a Henry R. Luce Professor at Kalamazoo College.[1][2] In his career he wrote several books and published (co-published) many scholarly articles in the fields of Chemical kinetics, Computational neuroscience and Complex systems[3][4][5]


Érdi was born in 1946 in Budapest, Hungary. He was the only son of Pál Érdi, a chief engineer at the tannery factory and Magdolna Friedmann, an office manager at the journal Nagyvilág. He has two children and two grandchildren. His mentors were Pál Benedek and János Szentágothai[6]

After graduating in 1965 at János Bolyai High School, Budapest, he went on to study Chemistry at Eötvös Loránd University and Chemical Cybernetics at Budapest University of Technology and Economics where he completed Master's degrees in both disciplines. Eventually, in 1991 he received Doctor of Science (DSc) for his paper on "Kinetics of Chemical and Biological Networks".

In 2002, he and his family moved to Michigan, USA where he holds the Henry R. Luce professorship at Kalamazoo College while he kept his position in his home institution in Budapest.


In 1992, Érdi began working as a scientific advisor of the KFKI Research Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He filled the role of the leading scientist on the project Big Data. Érdi's team was working on a method of predicting future technologies by analysing historical data of (mainly) US held patents.[7][8][9][10]

In 1995 he began to hold a position as a University Professor at University of Debrecen and later, also at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. In between 1999-2002, he served as Széchenyi Professor at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.[11] After leaving Hungary and moving to the USA in 2002, he began his career as the Henry R. Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies at Kalamazoo College.[12]

Érdi also prides himself as the co-founder and co-director of BSCS (Budapest Semester in Cognitive Sciences), which is a Hungarian study program for undergraduate students, mainly from USA, that are interested in Cognitive Science and its disciplines.[13]


In 1990, Érdi established with János Tóth the informal organization ELMOHA (Hungarian acronym of the three words: Theory, Model, Tradition) with the primary goal of the group to establish a proper discussion between humanities and natural sciences. A group of intellectuals from various fields of sciences and humanities met up regularly and discussed science and the interpretations of science.

Early members of the group were János László Farkas, Péter Hraskó, György Kampis, József Lázár, János Malina, László Ropolyi, Róbert Schiller, Péter Marton.[14] Also psychologist and linguist Csaba Pléh and Gábor Hraskó who is the president of Hungarian Skeptics Society, have also attended on several ELMOHA meetings. These meetings are often the subject of newspaper articles, books and university courses.


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