Álvaro Corral

Associate professor at CRM
Research area: Mathematical Modelling

PhD in Physics obtained at UB


My research has been addressed to describe, model, and try to predict the behavior of complex systems. The approach has been diverse: theoretical, computational, experimental, or based on observational data. Main systems of interest are natural hazards (earthquakes, hurricanes…) and communication systems (human language, music…), paying special attention to the necessary statistical tools. Together with my colleagues, we have found physical-like laws in several of these systems, and we have published our results in physics, geophysics, geology, and cross-disciplinary-science journals. Our results have been communicated to society through newspapers, radio, and TV. In the meantime of all this I got a PhD in Physics, a post-doc in Denmark, and a Ramón y Cajal fellowship back in Spain.
I am also very interested in the training of students, having organized several summer schools in recent years. I participate actively in the network of researchers complexitat.cat.

Previous positions

Assistant research professor at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen 1997 – 1999
Lecturer at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 1999 – 2001
Ramón y Cajal Fellow at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2001 – 2006
Group leader at the Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, 2007 – now

Prizes, awards, honors and distinctions

Outstanding Research Career from the I3 program evaluation, Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, 2005.
Lorenz Lecturer at the 2011 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysics Unión.

Research lines

  • Complex systems
  • Self-organized critical systems
  • Extreme-event statistics
  • Power-law distributions
  • Zipf’s law

Selected publications