Criticality in Sandpiles and in the Brain

I’ve started following various science sites on Twitter as a way to keep up on the latest research, and last week an interesting article popped up on with the title “Functioning brain follows famous sand pile model”.  Since my current research on avalanches on the beadpile is a essentially an experimental investigation of criticality and the sand pile model, I clicked on the link, interested to see how it connected to the brain.

The article was about an article just published in Nature Physics on June 22, looking at the electrical activity (visual avalanches) in the brain and comparing to the sand pile model,  but it got really interesting in about the fourth paragraph when I discovered that the first author on the paper was Woodrow Shew, Wooster physics alum from 1998!  What a great way to bump into an alumnus!  Woodrow is now an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas, and clearly is doing some cool work.