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Chew Lock Yue
Associate Professor and Associate Chair (Students)
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
College of Science

Assoc. Prof. Lock Yue Chew is a theoretical physicist with the Division of Physics and Applied Physics of NTU. He is the Associate Chair (Students) of the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences; and the Deputy Director of the Data Science and AI Research (DSAIR) Centre of NTU in the cluster of Complex Systems. His research interest is in the physics of complex systems. He applies statistical and nonlinear physics with machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to investigate diverse social systems. He is also affiliated with the Complexity Institute of NTU.

Research Statement

I am a theoretical physicist with research interest in the Physics of Complex Systems. I aims to uncover the fundamental physical mechanisms and organization principles of complex systems. I am currently active in applying statistical and nonlinear physics with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence techniques to investigate diverse social complex systems. My recent research focuses on the phase transitions of the cultural system of the Balinese Subaks, and the development of physics-based AI systems to solve the complex societal problems of bus scheduling, urban planning and medical diagnostics.

Research One-liner

Bring the insights of physics to bear on social systems so as to improve and to enhance it.

  1. S. Sugiarto, J. S. Lansing, N. N. Chung, C. H. Lai, S. A. Cheong and L. Y. Chew, Social cooperation and disharmony in communities mediated through common pool resource exploitation, Physical Review Letters, 118, 208301 (2017). This paper is featured in Phys.Org News: [We found the manner in which a social system gains or loses its cooperative behavior to be similar to the way in which a magnet gains or loses its magnetism.]
  2. S. Lansing, S. Thurner, N. N. Chung, A. Coudurier-Curveur, C. Karakas, K. A. Fesenmyer and L. Y. Chew, Adaptive self-organization of Bali’s ancient rice terraces, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114, 6504-6509 (2017). [We learnt that the society of Balinese Subaks functions in a critical regime that enables them to be adaptive to the environmental forces.]
  3. V. L. Saw, N. N. Chung, W. L Quek, Y. E. I. Pang and L. Y. Chew, Bus bunching as a synchronization phenomenon, Scientific Reports, 9, 6887 (2019). [We uncovered that the bunching of buses is like a set of coupled pendulums synchronizes their oscillations.]
Latest Projects
  1. Co-Evolutionary Reinforcement Learning for Multi-Agent Systems
  2. Data Driven Causal Discovery
  3. Statistical Physics of Urban Morphology
  4. Interface of Quantum Theory and Social Science
Advice to young researchers

Interdisciplinary research is a research partnership that can bring knowledge in your own discipline beyond its limits.

Other affiliation(s)

Expert Areas
Chaos, complex systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, Statistical Physics

Research Interests
Intelligent Transportation System, Medical AI, Social Physics, Urban Complexity

Research Category
Engineering & Technology, Natural Sciences
Research Sub-category
Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mathematics, Physics
NISTH Assigned Topic Groupings
Responsible AI/Tech
Affiliated Sustainable Development Goals
GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING – Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.
GOAL 9: INDUSTRY, INNOVATION, AND INFRASTRUCTURE – Investments in infrastructure are crucial to achieving sustainable development.
GOAL 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES – There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
Last Updated
08 Apr 2020
Last Updated
13 Sep 2020