Past NECSI Announcements: 2000



MAY 2000





The National Science Foundation has notified us that we will be receiving a grant to develop a program on multiscale representations. This grant, under the Biocomplexity initiative, will fund our core program, developing the fundamental aspects of multiscale representations, and various applications of multiscale representations in biology, computer science, meteorology, and social sciences.

Please contact us if:

  • You are a student or postdoctoral fellow candidate interested in studies and research developing multiscale representations or applying them to various areas of science and engineering. We are currently particularly interested in individuals with a background in statistical physics methods and computer simulations.
  • You are affiliated with a corporation or other institution interested in developing partnerships on applications of multiscale representations.
  • You are an administrator and are interested in a position developing research and education programs.

 If you are interested send an e-mail to


The New England Complex Systems Institute is now offering an individualized Advanced Training Program (ATP) in the study of Complex Systems. This program is designed for those who would like to contribute to research or applications of complex systems concepts and methods. Potential research projects include quantitative or qualitative development and application of complex systems concepts to physical, biological, social and engineered systems.

NECSI's ATP is for individuals with BA, Masters, or Ph.D. degrees or equivalent experience. It will run as a faculty supervised directed study, or graduate research program, with participation in research group meetings. ATP can accommodate a flexible in-house or remote study schedule.

If you are interested in this educational program send an e-mail to


NECSI offers educational seminars for corporations. These include 1/2 day and full day seminars. Specially tailored for corporate audiences, these interactive seminars cover both fundamental ideas and concrete applications.

Complex systems concepts help in facing many of the dynamic challenges of modern life. Fundamental concepts and methods of complex systems are widely applicable to a general understanding of complex system behavior, as well as the detailed modeling and design of specific complex systems. Examples include human social and economic systems, engineered, and biomedical systems -- ourselves, groups or institutions we are part of, and the systems we are trying to build, design or influence. Applications include the management of a corporation, the management of networks within and outside a corporation, and the development of products or services.

If you are interested send an e-mail to


A one day course, Introduction to Complex Systems, will be offered on Sunday September 24, 2000. This course will give an introduction to the opportunities that complex systems provides in research and in applications. Several approaches to the study of complex systems will be described, basic concepts will be introduced and implications for the study of biological, social and engineered systems will be discussed. The course will be given at MIT, Cambridge, MA.

Tuition: Students $50, Faculty $150, Corporate $500, MIT community attends free. Registration required. Space is limited.

If you are interested send an e-mail to


The first Herbert A. Simon Award for contributions to the study of Complex Systems will be awarded to
Stuart Kauffman
    author of
    At Home in the Universe
    The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution
The award will be presented at the International Conference on Complex Systems on Monday May 21.


The proceedings of the First ICCS is available from Perseus Books through bookstores and on-line at e.g.
Unifying Themes in Complex Systems: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS, Hosted by NECSI)
Y. Bar-Yam ed., Perseus Books, ISBN 0738200492
More info

A book by NECSI co-faculty is just out:
Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World
J. Sterman, Irwin/McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-231135-5
More info

A preprint is available:
Formalizing the gene centered view of evolution
Y. Bar-Yam, New England Complex Systems Institute
Advances in Complex Systems (in press)
More info / Los Alamos arXiv
Abstract: A historical dispute in the conceptual underpinnings of evolution is the validity of the gene centered view of evolution. We transcend this debate by formalizing the gene centered view and establishing the limits on its applicability. We show that the gene-centered view is a dynamic version of the well known mean field approximation. It breaks down for trait divergence which corresponds to symmetry breaking in evolving populations.
Note: Additional materials relevant to evolution and ecology will soon be posted at this site.


Detecting and quantifying sleep apnea based on the ECG: A challenge from PhysioNet and Computers in Cardiology 2000

Sleep apnea (intermittent cessation of breathing) is a common problem with major health implications, ranging from excessive daytime drowsiness to serious cardiac arrhythmias. A number of studies have hinted at the possibility of detecting sleep apnea using only the ECG. Such approaches are non-intrusive, inexpensive, and may be well-suited for screening, but quantitative assessments of their accuracy vs. conventional techniques are needed.

PhysioNet (a public service of the NIH NCRR-sponsored Research Resource for Complex Physiologic Signals) and Computers in Cardiology (an annual conference focusing on computer applications in clinical cardiology and cardiovascular research) challenge you to demonstrate the efficacy of ECG-based methods for apnea detection using a large, well-characterized, and representative set of data. This competition aims to stimulate effort and advance the state of the art in this clinically significant problem, and to foster friendly competition and wide-ranging collaborations. Participants will present their results during a special symposium at Computers in Cardiology 2000 ( in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 24-27 September, at which two winners will receive prizes of US$500.

Visit (NOTE: obsolete link -- 2/3/05) for rules and data.


Membership in NECSI is $20 per year for registered students, $50 per year for academics, and $100 per year for everyone else. Corporate membership is $500 if you wish to register in the name of your corporation instead of individually. All memberships are fully tax-deductible. To register for membership please send a message including your name and preferred e-mail address to Payment information can be found at


Relevant research areas of complex systems to medicine and clinical practice include molecular scale modeling, immune system simulation, population dynamics, aging, cancer growth, drug interactions, cardiac arrhythmogenesis, information systems, and medical management. We are planning a discussion forum, meetings and other activities on medical complexity generally, and specific medical topics. Official announcements will be sent in a separate notice. If you are interested please send an e-mail to


Workshops are being planned to examine the application of principles and concepts of complex systems to commerce, organizational management and government. Areas of interest include but are not limited to: finance, markets, control and regulations, decision-making, information systems and flows, strategic planning, performance measurement, marketing, mergers and acquisions, supply-chains, resource allocation and control, cycle-time management, global markets and trade, start-ups and customer relationships. The first workshop will be held in Seattle on March 17, 2000. Scientists and non-scientists will examine current economic and business needs and in the light of the science of complex systems. If you are interested please send an e-mail to


NSF has sponsored a Planning Meeting for a National Initiative on Complex Systems in K-16 Education. Organized by Jim Kaput, Sheldon White, Uri Wilensky, Michael Jacobson and Yaneer Bar-Yam under the aegis of NECSI, this meeting addresses the opportunities for developing educational content, methods and institutional change. Planning documents for future steps in the Initiative are being prepared, drafts of these documents are available on-line. Further information can be found at


Two discussions forums have started:
scholarly discussion of complex systems principles in science and their application to physical, biological and social systems.
personal discussion of topics related to the community of complex systems researchers and the societal context.

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