Advisory Board

Dr. Ryan Woodard

The PhysOrg article Are We in the Peak of an Oil Bubble? said

Since 2003, worldwide oil prices have quadrupled. According to a new study, the price of oil is rising at a faster-than-exponential rate, and cannot be sustained. In other words, we’re in the midst of an oil bubble, say researchers Didier Sornette and Ryan Woodard of ETH Zurich in Switzerland and Wei-Xing Zhou of the East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, China.
 
By analyzing oil prices over the past four years, the researchers have demonstrated more support for the hypothesis that the recent oil price run-up has less to do with supply-demand interplay and more to do with speculation.
 
In their analysis, the team gathered data on oil prices since 2005 in US dollars, euros, and other major currencies (to confirm that the results are not a consequence of the weakening of the US dollar). They also examined worldwide oil supply and demand data, specifically investigating the extent of increased demand from emerging markets such as China and India.

Ryan Woodard, Ph.D. is a scientist at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where he studies complex systems in social and physical sciences.
 
His main research concerns herding behavior in financial systems and how such behavior leads to bubbles and crashes. He analyzes the statistics of conflict and cooperation among people and countries as another route to identifying and understanding emergent behavior in social systems.
 
Ryan is a founding member of Sympact, International, a non-profit US-based company seeking to assist in the field of Conflict Early Warning. He has also worked at British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England, studying the role of complexity science in the dynamics of ice sheets and their reaction to climate change. He is a Research Associate at the Conflict Analysis Research Center in Bogotá, Colombia, has taught at the Instituto Sistemas Complejos Valparaíso in Valparaíso, Chile and is a member of the Alumni Committee of the Santa Fe Institute, USA.
 
He coauthored Persistent dynamic correlations in self-organized critical systems away from their critical point, Persistent dynamic correlations in self-organized critical systems away from their critical point, The 2006–2008 Oil Bubble and Beyond, Understanding transport dynamics through Spectral and R/S analysis of long time series, Modelling ELM-like relaxations using a diffusive running sandpile, Realistic experimental signatures of SOC dynamics, and Radial and Poloidal Correlations of Turbulent Transport in a Self Organized Criticality Model with Bulk Rotation.
 
Ryan earned his B.S. in Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1989, his M.S. in Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1991, and his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2004 with the thesis Building Blocks of Self-Organized Criticality which described applying the concept of self-organized criticality to the problem of attaining economical nuclear fusion for electricity.