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  • Modes of Thinking (in) Complexity. Key Challenges for Theory, Research, and Practice. Satellite Meeting at CCS2021
    by cxdig on May 17, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    October 22nd, 2021, ONLINE This Satellite Meeting takes the form of a workshop aiming to stimulate the discussion and the collaborative co-construction of new ideas about the nature and state of development of the modes of thinking in and for Complexity Studies. It aims at identifying key challenges and questions that call to be addressed, including those regarding the development of more complex modes of thinking. It will focus the discussion on the identification of key theoretical, […]

  • Complexity Science – From philosophical foundations to applications in climate and social science. Karoline Wiesner
    by cxdig on May 14, 2021 at 9:38 pm people might not bother to define complexity, thinking that we know it when we see it. Scientists should not afford such luxury. I will provide a compact but comprehensive overview of the different ways that systems can be complex, offering an aggregate definition. I will discuss the role of complexity measures, and why complexity cannot be captured by a single number. This work was done in […]

  • Mind, Brain and Body: An evolutionary perspective on the human condition
    by cxdig on May 12, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    Francis Heylighen The present course intends to answer the question of what it means to be human. This question has traditionally been the subject of a domain known as “philosophical anthropology”. Anthropology is the science that studies humans—just as entomology studies insects, and herpetology studies reptiles. It does this by carefully observing the physical, social and cultural properties that characterize human beings. This includes the evolution of humans out of their ape-like […]

  • Too Lazy to Read the Paper: Episode 6 with Gourab Ghoshal and Petter Holme
    by cxdig on May 11, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve got a treat for you today. Today’s author’s are Gourab Ghoshal and Petter Holme, who are here to talk about a classic paper. A paper they co-authored and published in PRL in 2006. The paper has a fantastic title, which is basically also a mini abstract. It is called “Dynamics of Networking Agents Competing for High Centrality and Low Degree” (1). In the podcast we get into it!Gourab is at at Rochester University, where he is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy with […]

  • Emergence in artificial life
    by cxdig on May 10, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    Carlos GershensonConcepts similar to emergence have been used since antiquity, but we lack an agreed definition of emergence. Still, emergence has been identified as one of the features of complex systems. Most would agree on the statement "life is complex". Thus, understanding emergence and complexity should benefit the study of living systems. It can be said that life emerges from the interactions of complex molecules. But how useful is this to understand living systems? Artificial life […]

  • Sidney Redner on Statistics and Everyday Life
    by cxdig on May 10, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    In this episode, we speak to SFI Resident Professor Sidney Redner, author of A Guide to First-Passage Processes, about how he finds inspiration for his complex systems research in the everyday — and how he uses math and physics to explore hot hands, heat waves, parking lots, and more… Listen at:

  • Perverse Downstream Consequences of Debunking: Being Corrected by Another User for Posting False Political News Increases Subsequent Sharing of Low Quality, Partisan, and Toxic Content in a Twitter…
    by cxdig on May 10, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    Mohsen Mosleh, Cameron Martel, Dean Eckles, David Rand A prominent approach to combating online misinformation is to debunk false content. Here we investigate downstream consequences of social corrections on users’ subsequent sharing of other content. Being corrected might make users more attentive to accuracy, thus improving their subsequent sharing. Alternatively, corrections might not improve subsequent sharing - or even backfire - by making users feel defensive, or by shifting their […]

  • Finance 4.0 – Towards a Socio-Ecological Finance System – A Participatory Framework to Promote Sustainability
    by cxdig on May 9, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    Dapp, Marcus M., Helbing, Dirk, Klauser, Stefan (Eds.) This Open Access book outlines ideas for a novel, scalable and, above all, sustainable financial system. We all know that today’s global markets are unsustainable and global governance is not effective enough. Given this situation, could one boost smart human coordination, sustainability and resilience by tweaking society at its core: the monetary system? A Computational Social Science team at ETH Zürich has indeed worked on a concept […]

  • Network medicine framework for identifying drug-repurposing opportunities for COVID-19 | PNAS
    by cxdig on May 8, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Deisy Morselli Gysi, Ítalo do Valle, Marinka Zitnik, Asher Ameli, Xiao Gan, Onur Varol, Susan Dina Ghiassian, J. J. Patten, Robert A. Davey, Joseph Loscalzo, and Albert-László Barabási PNAS May 11, 2021 118 (19) e2025581118; The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of prioritizing approved drugs to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. Here, we deployed algorithms relying on artificial intelligence, network diffusion, and network […]

  • CSS Senior Scientific Award 2021
    by cxdig on May 7, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    The CSS promotes the Senior Scientific Award to recognize the scientific career of Complex Systems scholars. It is awarded once a year to members who have achieved outstanding results in complexity science in any of the areas representative of the CSS. Read the full article at:

  • CSS Junior Scientific Award 2021
    by cxdig on May 7, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    The CSS promotes the Junior Scientific Award to recognize the excellence in the scientific career of young researchers in Complex Systems. It is awarded once a year to a maximum of two young researchers (up to ten years after PhD completion) who have achieved outstanding results in complexity science in any of the areas representative of the CSS. Read the full article at:

  • CSS Emerging Researcher Award
    by cxdig on May 7, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    This year the CSS launches a new award. The CSS Emerging Researcher Award recognizes promising researchers in Complex Systems. It is awarded once a year to up to two researchers who have made outstanding first steps in the complexity science research in any of the areas representative of the CSS. Read the full article at:

  • Synergetic Cities: Information, Steady State and Phase Transition. Implications to urban scaling, smart cities and planning
    by cxdig on May 7, 2021 at 1:12 am

    Hermann Haken, Juval Portugali Four concepts make the title of this book: Synergetic cities which is a view on cites as complex systems from the perspective of Haken’s theory of synergetics; information, which is a view on cities as complex systems commencing from the perspective of information theory. Next come steady state and phase transition which are two central aspects of complex systems in general and of cities as complex systems. Our aim is to introduce and develop the above four […]

  • Amie Wilkinson Sees the Dynamic Chaos in Puff Pastry
    by cxdig on May 6, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    To a dynamicist like Amie Wilkinson, understanding the universe is about knowing all the right moves. Listen podcast at:

  • The Fail West – Uncharted Territories
    by cxdig on May 6, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Soon, over 1.5 million people will have died of COVID in Western countries.1.5 million futile, needless deaths. 1.5 million wasted lives.Meanwhile, in a block of Asia-Pacific countries with a population over twice as big, they lost 18,000 people.  (...) Within 1-2 months, we knew most of the crucial knowledge needed to control the epidemic. Governments must reckon with their incapacity to apply these learnings.Read the full article at:

  • Suzanne Simard interview: How I uncovered the hidden language of trees
    by cxdig on May 5, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    First she discovered the wood wide web. Now Suzanne Simard has found that underground connections in a forest are like a brain that allows trees to form societies – and look out for their kin Read the full article at:

  • Technology & Society: social, philosophical and ethical implications for the 21st century
    by cxdig on May 4, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Francis Heylighen This richly illustrated manuscript including an extensive bibliography forms the lecture notes of a course with the same title. This course tries to give the students a deeper insight into what technology is, and how it affects human life on this planet. Given how pervasive and dominant technological systems have become in this 21st century, it is important to understand the dynamics that propel its ever-faster development. It is especially important to understand, on the one […]

  • Too Lazy to Read the Paper: Episode 5 with Renaud Lambiotte
    by cxdig on May 4, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    [youtube] //Today’s guest is Renaud Lambiotte Renaud is an associate professor at the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University, investigating processes taking place on large networks.In the episode, we talk about his story in science, the joy and value of exploring without a particular purpose, doing a PhD without publishing any papers, … and how reading classical texts by Boltzmann and others early on […]

  • Distributions of historic market data: relaxation and correlations
    by cxdig on May 3, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    M. Dashti Moghaddam, Zhiyuan Liu & R. A. Serota The European Physical Journal B volume 94, Article number: 83 (2021) We investigate relaxation and correlations in a class of mean-reverting models for stochastic variances. We derive closed-form expressions for the correlation functions and leverage for a general form of the stochastic term. We also discuss correlation functions and leverage for three specific models— multiplicative, Heston (Cox-Ingersoll-Ross) and combined […]

  • Transformative climate adaptation in the United States: Trends and prospects
    by cxdig on May 3, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    Linda Shi and Susanne Moser Science 29 Apr 2021: eabc8054As climate change intensifies, civil society is increasingly calling for transformative adaptation that redresses drivers of climate vulnerability. We review trends in how U.S. federal government, private industry and civil society are planning for climate adaptation. We find growing divergence in their approaches and impacts. This incoherence increases maladaptive investment in climate-blind infrastructure, justice-blind reforms in […]

  • SARS-CoV-2 elimination, not mitigation, creates best outcomes for health, the economy, and civil liberties
    by cxdig on May 2, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    Miquel Oliu-Barton, Bary S R Pradelski, Philippe Aghion, Patrick Artus, Ilona Kickbusch, Jeffrey V Lazarus, Devi Sridhar, Samantha Vanderslott The Lancet The trade-off between different objectives is at the heart of political decision making. Public health, economic growth, democratic solidarity, and civil liberties are important factors when evaluating pandemic responses. There is mounting evidence that these objectives do not need to be in conflict in the COVID-19 response. Countries that […]

  • Universal dynamics of ranking
    by cxdig on May 2, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    Gerardo Iñiguez, Carlos Pineda, Carlos Gershenson, Albert-László BarabásiVirtually anything can be and is ranked; people and animals, universities and countries, words and genes. Rankings reduce the components of highly complex systems into ordered lists, aiming to capture the fitness or ability of each element to perform relevant functions, and are being used from socioeconomic policy to knowledge extraction. A century of research has found regularities in ranking lists across nature and […]

  • “Too Lazy to Read the Paper”: Episode 4 with Leidy Klotz
    by cxdig on April 30, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Our Episode 4 guest, Leidy Klotz, is a Professor at the University of Virginia. He studies the science of design: how we transform things from how they are – to how we want them to be. Leidy wants to apply his work outside of academia. He wants address climate change and systemic inequality, Leidy also works directly with organizations including the World Bank. Stream and subscribe at:

  • “Too Lazy”: Episode 3 with Dirk Brockmann
    by cxdig on April 28, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    This episode’s guest is Dirk Brockmann. Dirk is a physicist and complex systems researcher. He’s a professor at the Department of Biology, Humboldt University of Berlin and the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin. Berfore returning to his native Germany, he was a professor at Northwestern University. Read the full article at:

  • Identifying tax evasion in Mexico with tools from network science and machine learning
    by cxdig on April 28, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Martin Zumaya, Rita Guerrero, Eduardo Islas, Omar Pineda, Carlos Gershenson, Gerardo Iñiguez, Carlos Pineda Mexico has kept electronic records of all taxable transactions since 2014. Anonymized data collected by the Mexican federal government comprises more than 80 million contributors (individuals and companies) and almost 7 billion monthly-aggregations of invoices among contributors between January 2015 and December 2018. This data includes a list of almost ten thousand contributors already […]

  • Call for Abstracts: CCS2021 Lyon: Conference on Complex Systems
    by cxdig on April 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    CCS2021 is the flagship conference on Complex Systems promoted by the CSS. It brings under one umbrella a wide variety of leading researchers, practitioners and stakeholders with a direct interest in Complex Systems, from Physics to Computer Science, Biology, Social Sciences, Economics, and Technological and Communication Networks, among others. Deadline for abstract submission: May 20, 2021Notification to authors: June 20, 2021Early Registration: July 15, 2021Dates of the Conference: October […]

  • Research Fellows in Cultural Data Analytics @ Tallinn University | CUDAN Open Lab
    by cxdig on April 26, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Tallinn University seeks to hire two Research Fellows in Cultural Data Analytics, particularly in (1) Audiovisual Machine Learning, and (2) Cultural Dynamics, to work on ambitious, high-impact research at the CUDAN ERA Chair (chair holder Prof. Dr. Maximilian Schich). Start of the employment contract: 01.07.- 01.09.2021, duration of the contract is up to 31.12.2023. Deadline of submitting the application documents is 31st May, 2021. Read the full article at:

  • Synchronizing Chaos with Imperfections
    by cxdig on April 26, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    Yoshiki Sugitani, Yuanzhao Zhang, and Adilson E. MotterPhys. Rev. Lett. 126, 164101 Previous research on nonlinear oscillator networks has shown that chaos synchronization is attainable for identical oscillators but deteriorates in the presence of parameter mismatches. Here, we identify regimes for which the opposite occurs and show that oscillator heterogeneity can synchronize chaos for conditions under which identical oscillators cannot. This effect is not limited to small mismatches and is […]

  • Misinformation about science in the public sphere
    by cxdig on April 25, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    Dietram A. Scheufele, Andrew J. Hoffman, Liz Neeley, and Czerne M. Reid PNAS April 13, 2021 118 (15) e2104068118 The misinformation crisis exemplified and intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic lays a gauntlet at the door of all science communicators. Scholars, experts, educators, activists, organizers, public servants, and philanthropists share an obligation to engage in “difficult, broad-based negotiation of moral, financial, and other societal trade-offs alongside a collective investigation […]

  • Growth, death, and resource competition in sessile organisms
    by cxdig on April 24, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Edward D. Lee, Christopher P. Kempes, and Geoffrey B. West PNAS April 13, 2021 118 (15) e2020424118 Although termite mounds stand out as an example of remarkably regular patterns emerging over long times from local interactions, ecological spatial patterns range from regular to random, and temporal patterns range from transient to stable. We propose a minimal quantitative framework to unify this variety by accounting for how quickly sessile organisms grow and die mediated by competition for […]

  • Graph Metrics for Network Robustness—A Survey
    by cxdig on April 23, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    Milena Oehlers and Benjamin Fabian Mathematics 2021, 9(8), 895 Research on the robustness of networks, and in particular the Internet, has gained critical importance in recent decades because more and more individuals, societies and firms rely on this global network infrastructure for communication, knowledge transfer, business processes and e-commerce. In particular, modeling the structure of the Internet has inspired several novel graph metrics for assessing important topological robustness […]

  • Urban Informatics
    by cxdig on April 23, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    Urban informatics is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding, managing, and designing the city using systematic theories and methods based on new information technologies. Integrating urban science, geomatics, and informatics, urban informatics is a particularly timely way of fusing many interdisciplinary perspectives in studying city systems. This edited book aims to meet the urgent need for works that systematically introduce the principles and technologies of urban informatics. The […]

  • How Maxwell’s Demon Continues to Startle Scientists
    by cxdig on April 23, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    The thorny thought experiment has been turned into a real experiment — one that physicists use to probe the physics of information. Read the full article at:

  • Computational Epidemiology at the time of COVID-19 by Alessandro Vespignani
    by cxdig on April 22, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    [youtube] //Colloquium Virtual Complexity at C3-UNAMUniversities for Science Consortium"Computational Epidemiology at the time of COVID-19"Alessandro Vespignani Network Science Institute at Northeastern UniversityAbstract: The data science revolution is finally enabling the development of large-scale data-driven models that provide real- or near-real-time forecasts and risk analysis for infectious disease […]

  • Melanie Mitchell Takes AI Research Back to Its Roots
    by cxdig on April 21, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    To build a general artificial intelligence, we may need to know more about our own minds, argues the computer scientist Melanie Mitchell. Full episode at:

  • Phase transitions and assortativity in models of gene regulatory networks evolved under different selection processes
    by cxdig on April 20, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Brandon Alexander , Alexandra Pushkar and Michelle Girvan Journal of the Royal Society Interface Volume 18 Issue 177 We study a simplified model of gene regulatory network evolution in which links (regulatory interactions) are added via various selection rules that are based on the structural and dynamical features of the network nodes (genes). Similar to well-studied models of ‘explosive’ percolation, in our approach, links are selectively added so as to delay the transition to […]

  • “Too Lazy”: Episode 2 with Roberta Sinatra –
    by cxdig on April 20, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Today is Roberta Sinatra day on #TooLazyPod!! Roberta is a physicist, an expert on science of success, and all-round fantastic person. In the podcast, we talks about her recent paper “Success and luck in creative careers”. Full episode at:

  • Time to regulate AI that interprets human emotions
    by cxdig on April 18, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    The pandemic is being used as a pretext to push unproven artificial-intelligence tools into workplaces and schools. Read the full article at:

  • The COVID-19 Infodemic: Twitter versus Facebook
    by cxdig on April 17, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Kai-Cheng Yang, Francesco Pierri, Pik-Mai Hui, David Axelrod, Christopher Torres-Lugo, John Bryden, Filippo Menczer The global spread of the novel coronavirus is affected by the spread of related misinformation -- the so-called COVID-19 Infodemic -- that makes populations more vulnerable to the disease through resistance to mitigation efforts. Here we analyze the prevalence and diffusion of links to low-credibility content about the pandemic across two major social media platforms, Twitter and […]

  • Modeling COVID-19 for Lifting Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
    by cxdig on April 16, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Matthew Koehler, David M Slater, Garry Jacyna and James R Thompson Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 24 (2) 9 As a result of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, the United States instituted various non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in an effort to slow the spread of the disease. Although necessary for public safety, these NPIs can also have deleterious effects on the economy of a nation. State and federal leaders need tools that provide insight into which combination of […]

  • Too Lazy to Read the Paper. Episode 1
    by cxdig on April 14, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    This inaugural episode features physicist, urban planning, human mobility and transportation scientist Marta C. González from UC Berkeley explaining the long and winding road to her paper The TimeGeo modeling framework for urban mobility without travel surveys [1].In the podcast, we take our time, tracing Marta’s career from Venezuelan graduate student, to postdoc in Germany, Notre Dame (US), and Boston. We hear a bit about what it’s like to be a physicist at MIT’s transportation […]

  • Economics in Nouns and Verbs
    by cxdig on April 13, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    W. Brian Arthur Standard economic theory uses mathematics as its main means of understanding,and this brings clarity of reasoning and logical power. But there is adrawback: algebraic mathematics restricts economic modeling to what can beexpressed only in quantitative nouns, and this forces theory to leave outmatters to do with process, formation, adjustment, creation and nonequilibrium.For these we need a different means of understanding, one that allows verbs aswell as nouns. Algorithmic […]

  • Avoiding the bullies: The resilience of cooperation among unequals
    by cxdig on April 12, 2021 at 4:20 pm

    Foley M, Smead R, Forber P, Riedl C (2021) Avoiding the bullies: The resilience of cooperation among unequals. PLoS Comput Biol 17(4): e1008847. Individuals often differ in their ability to resolve conflicts in their favor, and this can lead to the emergence of hierarchies and dominant alphas. Such social structures present a serious risk of destabilizing cooperative social interactions or norms. Why work together to find food when a more aggressive or stronger individual can take all of it? […]

  • Cells Form Into ‘Xenobots’ on Their Own
    by cxdig on April 11, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    Embryonic cells can self-assemble into new living forms that don't resemble the bodies they usually generate, challenging old ideas of what defines an organism. Read the full article at: See Also:  A cellular platform for the development of synthetic living machinesDouglas Blackiston, Emma Lederer, Sam Kriegman, Simon Garnier, Joshua Bongard, Michael Levin Science Robotics 31 Mar 2021:Vol. 6, Issue 52, eabf1571

  • Behavioral and Cognitive Robotics: An adaptive perspective
    by cxdig on April 10, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    Stefano Nolfi This book describes how to create robots capable to develop the behavioral and cognitive skills required to perform a task autonomously, while they interact with their environment, through evolutionary and/or learning processes. It focuses on model-free approaches with minimal human-designed intervention in which the behavior used by the robot solve its task and the way in which such behavior is produced is discovered by the adaptive process automatically, i.e. it is not specified […]

  • “The curious human” Danielle S. Bassett
    by cxdig on April 9, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    [youtube] //View at:

  • Emergence of Polarized Ideological Opinions in Multidimensional Topic Spaces
    by cxdig on April 7, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Fabian Baumann, Philipp Lorenz-Spreen, Igor M. Sokolov, and Michele StarniniPhys. Rev. X 11, 011012 (2021) By embedding opinions in a nonorthogonal topic space, a new model shows that a reinforcement mechanism driven by homophilic social interactions reproduces extreme and correlated opinion states found in surveys. Read the full article at:

  • Random Networks with Quantum Boolean Functions
    by cxdig on April 7, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    Mario Franco, Octavio Zapata, David A. Rosenblueth,  and Carlos Gershenson Mathematics 2021, 9(8), 792 We propose quantum Boolean networks, which can be classified as deterministic reversible asynchronous Boolean networks. This model is based on the previously developed concept of quantum Boolean functions. A quantum Boolean network is a Boolean network where the functions associated with the nodes are quantum Boolean functions. We study some properties of this novel model and, using a quantum […]

  • The global network of ports supporting high seas fishing | Science Advances
    by cxdig on April 6, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    Jorge P. Rodríguez, Juan Fernández-Gracia, Carlos M. Duarte, Xabier Irigoien, and Víctor M. Eguíluz Science Advances 26 Feb 2021:Vol. 7, no. 9, eabe3470 Fisheries in waters beyond national jurisdiction (“high seas”) are difficult to monitor and manage. Their regulation for sustainability requires critical information on how fishing effort is distributed across fishing and landing areas, including possible border effects at the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) limits. We infer the global […]

  • Asymptotic Information-Theoretic Detection of Dynamical Organization in Complex Systems
    by cxdig on April 6, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    Gianluca D’Addese, Laura Sani, Luca La Rocca, Roberto Serra, and Marco Villani Entropy 2021, 23(4), 398; The identification of emergent structures in complex dynamical systems is a formidable challenge. We propose a computationally efficient methodology to address such a challenge, based on modeling the state of the system as a set of random variables. Specifically, we present a sieving algorithm to navigate the huge space of all subsets of variables and compare them in terms of a simple […]

  • Unreachable Switch Statement Default Cases
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on March 26, 2021 at 12:51 am

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. Standard C and C++ requires switch statements to behave harmlessly if on a value that not covered by one of their case’s. For example, in this case switch( i ) { case 0: j+=k; break; case 1; j*=k; break; case 2: j/=k; break; } If i wasn’t 0, 1, or 2, the switch statement would just roll on by without anything happening to j. Behaving harmlessly is good, except that it’s not free. In practice, this […]

  • BEACONites to Compete in 2021 Reach Out Science Slam Communication Challenge
    by Danielle Whittaker on March 24, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    BEACON graduate students Joelyn de Lima, Anna Raschke, Miles Roberts, and Katherine Skocelas have been named semifinalists in the 2021 Reach Out Science Slam Communication Challenge jointly sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Museum of Science, Boston. They each … Continue reading →

  • BEACON wins MSU Excellence in Diversity Award
    by Danielle Whittaker on March 8, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    Last month, Michigan State University announced this year’s winners of the annual Excellence in Diversity Awards. BEACON is very proud to receive the Team Award for Sustained Efforts towards Excellence in Diversity!   We owe much of our success to … Continue reading →

  • Extending Genetic Programming for use in Big Data Analytics: BEACON alum Amir Gandomi
    by Danielle Whittaker on November 30, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Former BEACON Distinguished Postdoc Amir H. Gandomi has received a 2021 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council. Amir was a BEACON postdoc from 2015-2017, and is now a Professor of Data Science at University of Technology Sydney in … Continue reading →

  • NEAT Project
    by Daniel Junghans on July 21, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Link to my blog Introduction I began my current research project with a simple question: can I evolve an artificial neural network (ANN) to accurately predict the closing price of a stock? Artificial Neural Networks ANNs are inspired by biological brains and are made up of densely interconnected nodes. Instead of neurons and synapses, ANNs utilize artificial neurons (nodes) and connections. Figure 1 Visual representation of an artificial neural network. The circles represent nodes and the lines […]

  • Nitty Gritty on Professional Jekyll Posts
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on July 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. Class blogs have grown into a core tool of the educational experiences, like the CSE 491 Advanced C++ Seminar and this summer’s WAVES Workshop, I’ve had the pleasure of facilitating. I typically have students contribute to the blog as part of their own learning experience. I love this format because it helps, develop students’ professional communication skills, provide students a sense of […]

  • Evolutionary AI site with expert podcasts and a COVID-19 intervention demo
    by Danielle Whittaker on July 15, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    The Evolutionary AI research group at Sentient has moved to Cognizant Technology Solutions. The group includes several current and past BEACONites, including Risto Miikkulainen, Elliot Meyerson, Jason Liang, and Santiago Gonzalez, and past interns Aditya Rawal and Khaled Talukder.  The group … Continue reading →

  • Life Hacks RE: Too Much Zoom & Too Much Email
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on July 2, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. 🔗 You’ve Got Mail! Ah, email. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. None. Zero ways. Pick an academic of your choice with a twitter. Search their username and the word “email.” Enjoy the snarky 2 to 7+ tweets that appear. I’ve curated a few of my favorites here. 🔗 A Tale as Old as Time Itself Or, at least, email itself. Don Knuth — of complexity analysis & LaTeX fame — […]

  • Engaging Galápagos Students and Educators in Evolutionary Activities
    by Danielle Whittaker on May 20, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    This blog post is by Madison Bovee, Alexa Warwick, John G. Phillips, Brant G. Miller, and Christine Parent. Evolutionary research is conducted across the globe, yet no location may be as emblematic as the Galápagos Islands (Figure 1). Made famous by … Continue reading →

  • Logistical Lessons Learned about Administering Workshop Applications
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on May 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. We’re in the process of wrapping up participant selection for our upcoming Workshop for Avida-ED Software Development (WAVES). This workshop will team up early-career participants with mentors to help build the software foundation that will underly the next version of Avida-ED (as well as more broadly supporting web-based scientific apps and digital evolution research). So far, almost everything’s […]

  • Social distancing socials in the Devolab
    by Alex Lalejini on March 24, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    👋 We’re now almost two weeks into our lab’s full-scale social distancing efforts. On March 11th, Michigan State University suspended in-person classes and shifted all coursework to virtual instruction. Around the same time, our lab shifted to working remotely and began conducting all meetings virtually over Zoom. So, we’ve all been hunkered down in our apartments/homes slowly succumbing to cabin fever. Fortunately, we study digital critters, so our work is conducive to working remotely […]

  • An 11th Way to Convert a char to a string in C++
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on February 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. If by some miracle of search engine optimization you landed here first just googling around for a C++ code snippet or for some reason you found Techie Delight’s listicle 10 ways to convert a char to a string in C++ inadequately delightful, here’s your payoff right out of the gate. std::string res{'c'}; Great! You’re free to go… 🔗 or: How I Learned that Braces and Parens Aren’t the Same […]

  • So You Want To Retrieve and Extract .tar.gz Archives with Empscripten
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on January 27, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. As part of ongoing work with my scientific project’s cool cool web interface, I spent this afternoon and evening figuring out how to download configuration and data files into the browser. I figured I should share what I learned! Emscripten’s nifty file packaging, which prepares elements of the browser file system at compile time and packages it with your “executable,” had been my go to for a […]

  • Profiling Empirical’s BitSet and BitVector
    by Santiago Rodriguez-Papa on January 24, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Our lab’s software project, the Empirical C++ Library, provides two containers implemented for dealing with data at the bit level: BitSet and BitVector. emp::BitSet (emp is Empirical’s namespace) is—at its core—a reimplementation of std::bitset with some additional features, such as support for bitmagic bitwise operations and convenient accessors and modifiers. emp::BitSet and std::bitset are both fixed-sized containers. emp::BitVector provides many of the same features as emp::BitSet […]

  • Anti-Peacocking [January 21, 2020]
    by Tom Barbalet on January 22, 2020 at 4:04 am

    Anton hit a roadblock with the Moveable Feast Machine due to some GPU compiler issues. Tom has been working on a project called libdeep to answer some interesting questions about how to make software that is useful for a variety of folks. They digress into the Roomba. How good is machine learning and why hasn't artificial life done just as well? What is still yet to be found useful in the field. Anton wants to understand more about the ApeSDK. Tom introduces Ecosim (after the recording Tom […]

  • Evaluating Function Dispatch Methods in SignalGP
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on December 17, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. 🔗 Introduction Way back before we both joined the halfway-to-fifty club, fellow-DEVOLAB student Alexander Lalejini started developing an event-driven genetic programming system called SignalGP. His work aims to enable practitioners to better evolve agents that exhibit responsiveness to their surroundings — changing conditions in their environment & messages from other agents. The stock […]

  • How Claire from the BA test kitchen made me rethink our scientific role models
    by Danielle Whittaker on December 11, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    This blog post is by MSU faculty member Arend Hintze. I love making stuff, let it be wood crafting or building cosplay Halloween costumes for my kids. However, I also like to do things the right way.  Consequently, I have … Continue reading →

  • Biota [December 8, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on December 8, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Tom provides a footnote to Biota.

  • Goodman Extends BEACON’s Collaborations in China
    by Danielle Whittaker on November 4, 2019 at 8:00 am

    This post is by BEACON’s Executive Director Erik Goodman. On Oct. 19, 2019, I left East Lansing for China, with stops in Shantou, Guangzhou and Shanghai. I received a warm and wonderful reception everywhere I went, in spite of tariffs, … Continue reading →

  • Using lessons from Facebook and fence-building to understand the evolution of deadly bacteria
    by Danielle Whittaker on October 28, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    This blog post is by University of Idaho graduate student Clinton Elg. Evolution of a Deadly Bacteria Vibrio cholerae is bacteria that resides in water and causes deadly cholera disease. While areas of the world with functional sewage and potable … Continue reading →

  • An Instinct for Truth: a new book by BEACON co-founder Robert T. Pennock
    by Danielle Whittaker on October 11, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Robert T. Pennock, a BEACON co-founder and co-PI, has just published a new book. An Instinct for Truth: Curiosity and the Moral Character of Science is an exploration of the scientific mindset—such character virtues as curiosity, veracity, attentiveness, and humility to evidence—and … Continue reading →

  • BEACON alum Wendy Smythe receives AISES Professional of the Year award
    by Danielle Whittaker on September 5, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Dr. Wendy Smythe, former BEACON Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2016-2018) received the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Professional of the Year Award.  Wendy Smythe, now a tenure track assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), received the AISES award … Continue reading →

  • Nerd Obsessive Enterprises [August 9, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on August 10, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Anton has been porting Movable Feast Machine to the GPU. They discuss work waivers. Tom discusses what an iPhone app means. How about Patreon? Anton and Tom finish the podcast talking about Kickstarters too.

  • Creating the Surroundings [August 5, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on August 6, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Tom welcomes back on Dr. Bruce Damer. Tom asks for Bruce's thoughts on the Wikipedia situation. Bruce talks about the Biota Institute in understanding the origin of life and a new company, Epsilonics. They discuss Tom Ray's criticism of artificial life for doing open ended simulation. What has Deepak Chopra provided in feedback to Bruce? Tom raises the idea that emergent complexity is the panacea for the media-centric world. Bruce talks about his responsibility to the issues impacting the […]

  • Galapagotchi with Gerald de Jong [July 6, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on July 6, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Gerald de Jong has been in and out of creating simulations over the past eight years but he's returned to work on Galapagotchi. Tom tries very hard to create distinctions between springs and tensegrity structures but Gerald isn't having any of it. Gerald gives a definition of Galapagotchi. How have Gerald's thoughts changed about artificial life in the past eight years? What's the distinction between water and land?

  • Moveable Fiesta [June 28, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on June 29, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Tom welcomes on Professor David Ackley who introduces his interests in artificial life and how he developed Evolutionary Reinforcement Learning. Can this work map back into biology? What does it take to get this kind of cross disciplinary collaboration? Tom asks about Professor Ackley's motivation to put so much information on YouTube. How is this different to publicly accessible papers? Does it bring students to the field? Professor Ackley talks about the vision of a new computer architecture: […]

  • Veritable Feast [June 7, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on June 8, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Anton returns to talk about Lenia, David H. Ackley's Movable Feast Machine Tom and Anton do a deep dive into the many flavors of parallelism Tom has used with Noble Ape. Anton also likes GPU programming. If you would like to be on a Biota podcast, please get in contact with Tom - barbalet at the email address noted.

  • GenePool Revisited [May 25, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on May 26, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Tom Barbalet welcomes back Jeffrey Ventrella to talk about his ongoing projects, GenePool and Wiggle Planet, with longtime co-developer, Brian Dodd. They talk about open source and Jeffrey's other projects: a book on fractal curves and taking artificial life to the traditional art world.

  • Surviving Notability, Simulation as a Service and Self-Replicating Steam Engines [May 19, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on May 19, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Tom Barbalet welcomes back Tim Taylor to talk about how we communicate on the field of artificial life. They also discuss Tim's ideas on simulation as a service and Tim's new book on self-replicating machine discussions through history.

  • Deletions, Simulation as a Service, ApeScript and the Curse [May 13, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on May 14, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Tom Barbalet talks with Anton Mikhailov on a variety of topics. Will they continue the podcast after the meeting? Time will tell.

  • The Secret Life of Simulators and Bees [April 26, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on April 27, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Tom Barbalet talks with Anton Mikhailov about his bee simulation, moving it open source and some of the historical pitfalls in making artificial life your day job. If you would like to ask further questions and topics for Anton and Tom, please email barbalet at gmail dot com. We'd really appreciate the topics and feedback.

  • Ape Reality Simulcast 157. Noble Ape Seminar at the Beacon Center, Michigan State University [July 27, 2012]
    by Tom Barbalet on April 17, 2019 at 5:22 am

    This is a talk given primarily to biologists on the Noble Ape Simulation. The academics who don't introduce themselves are Prof. Fred Dyer, Dr. Aaron Wagner and Prof. Robert Pennock.

  • Long Funk Simulcast 51. A Shared Language in [March 31, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on April 1, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Tom discusses the background and potential of Noble Ape in the cloud with JSON.

  • Long Funk Simulcast 45. Bob Mottram and Leeds [February 12, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on February 13, 2019 at 4:40 am

    Noble Ape banter is a real luxury.

  • Restarting the Biota Podcast [January 26, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on January 26, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Tom Barbalet is interested in restarting the podcast but he needs your help. barbalet at gmail dot com for more!

  • Announcement: is the New Location For the Podcast
    by Tom Barbalet on August 5, 2018 at 5:40 am

    The Biota Podcast's home has moved to

  • Simulcast: Early Morning Weather Development [April 1, 2018]
    by Tom Barbalet on April 1, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Tom Barbalet, the creator of Noble Ape, talks about what he's working on at 3am.

  • Simulcast Long Funk 1. Introducing the Format [December 9, 2017]
    by Tom Barbalet on December 10, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Tom introduces the podcast by discussing his many podcasts and what he has learnt from all these recording. To subscribe go to

  • Simulcast: Tom Barbalet and Bruce Damer Have a Chat [May 3, 2015]
    by Tom Barbalet on May 4, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Originally intended for Bruce's Levity Zone podcast, the following recording seemed a better fit for those who were artificial life savvy. Bruce concludes the conversation with how he may be doing something with deep computation in the future after all.'

  • The VIDA Awards enter a new era
    by VIDA on February 25, 2015 at 9:51 am

    After 16 years, the competition will come to an end. New exhibitions will showcase the latest trends in art and new media

  • Simulcast: Crime Fighting Noble Apes [February 02, 2015]
    by Tom Barbalet on February 3, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Tom Barbalet presents a new project using Noble Ape to provide analysis of murder crimes with agent and language simulation.

  • The Iron Ring by Cecilia Jonsson, in ebook
    by VIDA on January 27, 2015 at 9:30 am

    The The Iron Ring projectby the artist Cecilia Jonsson, winner of Second Prize at VIDA 16.0, tells a long, labyrinthine story which can be followed in a publication produced by the V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media centre in Rotterdam. The idea arose during a residency at V2 in the summer of 2013. The Iron

  • Benjamin Grosser: the quantification of our social life
    by VIDA on January 20, 2015 at 9:30 am

    In an article published in the academic journal Computational Culture, the artist Benjamin Grosser, winner of First Prize at VIDA 16.0 for his Computers Watching Movies project (2013), analyses the way in which the social media site Facebook encourages its users’ activities through the quantification of their actions. Under the title “What Do Metrics Want?

  • Koli, art and the environment in Finland
    by VIDA on January 13, 2015 at 9:30 am

    The KOLI Environmental Art Festival has announced an open call for the submission of artistic projects to 31 January 2015. The festival, held in Koli National Park in Finland, focuses on the presentation of artistic works in a natural setting, establishing a creative and environmentally-friendly dialogue. The event will be taking place in summer 2015,

  • Announcement: is the New Location For the Podcast
    by Tom Barbalet on January 4, 2015 at 5:40 am

    The Biota Podcast's home has moved to

  • Roger Malina: “art leads to new science”
    by VIDA on December 22, 2014 at 9:30 am

      Roger F. Malina is an astronomer and editor. He is a Distinguished Professor of Art and Technology at the University of Texas, Dallas where he is developing Art-Science R and D and Experimental publishing research. Former Director of the Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille Provence. His specialty is in space instrumentation; he was the Principal

  • “Cultivos” by Gilberto Esparza: biology and robotics with a critical vision
    by VIDA on December 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Gilberto Esparza, prizewinner at VIDA 9.0 and VIDA 13.0, is presenting his individual exhibition Cultivos at the Espacio Fundación Telefónica de Lima in Peru

  • Kerstin Ergenzinger: Drawing defines time and space
    by VIDA on December 2, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Until 8 February 2015 the Kunstmuseum Bonnis hosting the exhibition Zeich[n]enby artist Kerstin Ergenzinger

  • Telefónica R&D Incentives Prize
    by VIDA on November 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    The VIDA Awards rank among the most important distinctions in the field of new media art. Created in 1999 by Fundación Telefónica, they are currently the only prizes dedicated to art and artificial life. Over the past 15 years, VIDA has consolidated its firm commitment to defining and developing new contemporary artistic practices in the context of

  • Incentives for Production Prizes
    by VIDA on November 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    The VIDA Awards rank among the most important distinctions in the field of new media art. Created in 1999 by Fundación Telefónica, they are currently the only prizes dedicated to art and artificial life. Over the past 15 years, VIDA has consolidated its firm commitment to defining and developing new contemporary artistic practices in the context of