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International Conference on Complex Systems 2004 (ICCS2004)


Complex Systems on the Rise
Researchers Will Offer Latest Thinking on Complex Systems in Boston
Conference Addresses Issues of Global Concern

Complexity is a part of our daily lives — from our immune system to the World Wide Web to economic and social globalization. Over the past few years, researchers from many disciplines have been studying how these complex systems work and recently, common threads have begun to emerge. These themes will be the focus of the fifth International Conference on Complex Systems, sponsored by the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), to be held May 16-21, at the Boston Marriott.

“The goal of the conference is to show the unity of our understanding of complex systems and to encourage cross fertilization among the many disciplines involved,” said Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam, President of NECSI. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear the latest findings from leaders in fields as diverse as molecular biology, economics, physics, neuroscience, astronomy, evolutionary biology, ecology, robotics, and social systems. Presenters include:

  • Keith Campbell — biologist who cloned the sheep “Dolly”
  • Leon Cooper — Nobel Laureate in physics, now studying neural networks
  • Stephen Wolfram — physicist, computer scientist, developer of the software program Mathematica, and author of A New Kind of Science
  • Alan Perelson — immunologist whose work has led to HIV therapies
  • Stuart Kauffman — theoretical biologist studying the origin of life
  • Alvin and Heidi Toffler — well-known futurists and authors of Future Shock, and The Third Wave
  • Alan Guth — astrophysicist and author of The Inflationary Universe

In lectures, breakout, and poster sessions, these and many other eminent researchers from around the world will address such questions as: How can physicists’ grasp of complexity help us to understand how we evolved? Does it have anything to offer those of us seeking to comprehend our current ecological crises? What can our understanding of complex engineering systems tell us about the functioning of our incredibly complicated brains? What can a field as esoteric as nonlinear dynamics contribute to our understanding of business and society?

The conference addresses a growing interest in complex systems among scientists, professionals, and the general public. “Rapid advances in systems biology, the modeling of social systems, and the tremendous complexity of engineered systems are dramatically increasing the interest in this new way of studying all systems," said Dr. Bar-Yam.

Through this conference, and their ongoing research, Dr. Bar-Yam and his co-researchers at NECSI hope to explore how areas of scientific interest can contribute to finding solutions to problems of pressing human concern, such as healthcare, education, business, and life in an increasingly interconnected global system.

The conference is open to the public, and people can register on the NECSI website at http://necsi.net/events/iccs/iccscover.html.

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