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Emergent Systems: A Discussion

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During spring 2006, we will meet every Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. in Park 230, the Emergent Intelligence Laboratory. Coffee and muffins start the meeting off, followed by a presentation and discussion. Open to all.

People in a variety of disciplines and walks of life are in the business of trying to make sense of the world. In so doing, all make use of conceptual frameworks, habitual ways of thinking that influence both how one tries to make sense of new observations and the new questions one asks (and doesn't ask). These conceptual frameworks are themselves reflections of the kinds of observations that have and can be made.

Computers, like telescopes and microscopes, have opened a whole new world of possible observations. Because of the rapidity with which they can do well-defined calculations, computers have made it possible to explore the consequences of relatively simple interactions of relatively simple things in ways never before possible (try, for example, the Game of Life or Simple Networks, Simple Rules).

From this new capability are emerging in different arenas significant insights into phenomena long believed too complex for serious analysis ... and perhaps a new quite general conceptual framework applicable in a variety of disciplines and practical contexts. People who are interested the emergence of "emergent systems" as a way of thinking are invited to join this discussion by contacting Doug Blank or Paul Grobstein.

emergent.brynmawr.edu/eprg/ - a collaborative, interactive hypertext discussion of emergent systems

Complex Systems on Serendip - additional resources

"If you knew the algorithm and fed it back say ten thousand times, each time there's be a dot somewhere on the screen. You'd never know where to expect the next dot. But gradually you'd start to see this shape, because every dot will be inside the shape of this leaf. ... The unpredictable and the predetermined unfold together to make everything the way it is. It's how nature creates itself, on every scale, the snowflake and the snowstorm." Tom Stoppard, Arcadia, 1993.


Schedule and Discussion Links

Complete information for all sessions, including discussion notes and participant lists,
can be found on the Resources page.
January 18   "Misinformation Networks: Why a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on"
Discussion leader: Mark Kuperberg (SWAT Economics)
January 25 "Blogging, Social Software, and Emergence"
Discussion leader: Laura Blankenship
February 1

"Globalization: discourse, circular causality and the self-fulfilling prophecy of welfare state retrenchment"
Discussion leader: Sandy Schram

February 8 "Growth Points (?) in Emerging Emergence: Evolution, Architecture, Story Telling, and Generativity"
Discussion leader: Paul Grobstein
February 15

"Growth Points (?) in Emerging Emergence: Evolution, Architecture, Story Telling, and Generativity" (continued)
Discussion leader: Paul Grobstein

February 22 "Feminism, Emerging"
Discussion leader: Anne Dalke
March 1 "The Virtue of Stubborn Conviction: Ethics Through the Lens of Emergence"
Discussion leader: Ronni Sadovsky
March 8 SPRING BREAK
March 15 Knowledge-Free Induction of Inflectional Morphology
Discussion leader: Rich Wicentowski
March 22 Knowledge-Free Induction of Inflectional Morphology (continued)
Discussion leader: Rich Wicentowski
March 29

"Stories physicists tell, or what do they mean when they talk of 'ultimate reality'?"
Discussion leader: Al Albano
NOTE LOCATION CHANGE: Swarthmore College, Rm. 102, New Science Center

April 5 "Socially Extended Cognition"
Discussion leader: Alan Baker
Swarthmore College, Rm. 102, New Science Center
April 12

"Ants"
Discussion leader: George Wilson, Villanova U.
Swarthmore College, Rm. 102, New Science Center

April 19 "Neural populations, Dimension reduction, & Models"
Discussion leader: Ken Whang
Swarthmore College, Rm. 102, New Science Center
April 26 "Rules: We Don't Need No Stinkin Rules"
Discussion leader: Doug Blank
Swarthmore College, Rm. 102, New Science Center
May 3 "Rules: We Don't Need No Stinkin Rules" Part 2
Discussion leader: Doug Blank
Swarthmore College, Rm. 102, New Science Center
BEGINNING OF SUMMER SCHEDULE -- Tuesdays, 8:30am, Park Sciences Bldg., Rm. 230 (unless otherwise noted)
May 9
Tuesday
8:30am
"Rules: We Don't Need No Stinkin Rules" Part 3
Discussion leader: Doug Blank
Park 230
May 16
"Futurism, prediction, and emergence"
Discussion leader: Tim Burke
May 23
Discussion leader: Alan Baker
LOCATION: Swarthmore College, Rm. 102, New Science Center
May 30
Discussion leader: Karen Greif
June 6
"Emergently Defining Emergence"
Discussion leader: Alan Baker
LOCATION: Swarthmore College, Rm. 102, New Science Center
June 13
"From Complexity to Emergence and Beyond: The Nature of Inquiry, and of What is Being Inquired Into"
Discussion leader: Paul Grobstein
June 20
Discussion leader: Mikio Akagi
June 27
Discussion leader: George Wilson
LOCATION:  BMC Campus Center, Rm. 200
July 4
Discussion leader: Open
July 11
Discussion leader: Lisa Benson
July 18
"The Two Faces of Emergence in Economics"
Discussion leader: Mark Kuperberg

Archives

Emergent Systems Schedule and Discussion Links Fall 2005

Emergent Systems Schedule and Discussion Links 2004-2005
Forum 2004-2005

Information Working Group, summer 2004

Emergent Systems Schedule and Discussion Links 2003-2004
Forum 2003-2004

Emergent Systems Schedule and Discussion Links 2002-2003
Forum 2002-2003


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Last Modified: Tuesday, 19-Sep-2006 11:30:47 EDT