Complex Systems: 'Are Humans Just Another Predator? The Roles of Human Foragers in North Pacific Marine Food Webs'

2014-03-03 by News, Sports, and Art

Most studies of humans and ecosystems present human impacts on ecosystems. However, our ability to understand and mitigate such impacts depends on the roles humans play in ecosystems. Food webs provide a useful way to quantify ecological roles of species including humans. By synthesizing 6,000 years of biological, archeological, ethnographic and other data from marine ecosystems in the North Pacific, in particular the Sanak Archipelago in the Eastern Aleutian Islands, we can characterize how Unangan/Aleut hunter-gatherers fit into complex marine food webs, how they compared to other predators and how their behaviors might have affected long-term ecosystem sustainability.

About the speaker: Jennifer Dunne’s research is in analysis, modeling and theory of organization, dynamics and function of complex species interaction. Much of this work focuses on the basic architecture for the flow of energy and resources in ecosystems that play a central role in ecological and evolutionary dynamics, and seeks to identify fundamental patterns and principles of ecological network structure. She is extending the scope and impact of this research with interdisciplinary collaborations in archaeology, art, computer science, economics, evolutionary theory, microbiology, paleobiology, parasitology, physics and social science. She received a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley, held a National Science Foundation postdoctoral research fellowship in biological informatics, and has been on the faculty of the Santa Fe Institute since 2007.

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Complex Systems
UAA Complex Systems Website

David Krakauer: The Past, Present and Future of Intelligence on Planet Earth

2013-10-23 by

Dr. David Krakauer is the director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and co-director of the Center for Complex Systems and Collective Computation at University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary theory from Oxford University.

Dr. Krakauer’s research focuses on the evolutionary history of information processing in biology and culture, including genetic, neural, linguistic and cultural mechanisms. The research spans multiple levels of organization, seeking analogous patterns and principles in genetics, cell biology, microbiology and in organismal behavior and society.

What is intelligence, where does it come from, and why does it appear to be so rare in the known universe? In this talk I shall provide an overview of our historical attempts to explain, define, and improve our intelligence. I shall explore the extraordinary and diverse forms of intelligence across life on earth, and consider the future of intelligence – the extended mind – in an age of increasing dependence upon machines. If the extended mind is the universe’s way of understanding itself, what will this cosmological self-awareness produce?

Krakauer’s visit to UAA was made possible by the campus Complex Systems Group. This podcast was recorded Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 in UAA Fine Arts 150.

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Complex Systems
UAA website
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
David Krakauer
Bio, Sante Fe Institute
David Krakauer
Bio, Wisconsin Institute for Discover

Mark Bedau presents 'Decision Making in Complex and Emerging Systems'

2013-07-08 by News, Sports, and Art

Mark Bedau has worked extensively on philosophical and scientific issues concerning emergence, evolution, life, mind and the social and ethical implications of creating life from scratch.

Because he combines training in analytical philosophy with more than a decade of experience in artificial life, he is internationally recognized as a leader in the development of socially and ethically responsible practices for creating life-like systems.

Bedau has been professor of philosophy and humanities at Reed College since 1991 and editor-in-chief of the Artificial Life journal since 2000. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley.

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UAA Campus Bookstore
UAA Complex Systems
Mark Bedau
Bio page, Reed College

'Emergent Art' with Brian Knep - Complex Systems Lecture Series

2012-04-02 by

Brian Knep works with cutting-edge science and technology. As the artist-in-residence at Harvard Medical School, he works side-by-side with scientists, using their tools and techniques to explore alternative ways of connecting to the world. Knep’s recent work focuses on the complexity possible with very simple rules—emergent art arising from mathematical equations of biological and chemical models of molecular interactions. His interactive installations amplify them and make them visible and accessible.

The UAA Complex Systems Lecture Series is sponsored by the UAA College of Arts and Sciences, UAA Undergraduate Research and the UAA University Honors College.

This podcast was recorded on April 2, 2012.

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Brian Knep's website
Brian Knep at

'X-tended Reality: Sensors, Spatial Temporal Analytics, Behavior Modeling, and Game Platforms' with Dr. George Kamberov

2012-02-16 by News, Sports, and Art

Extended reality and large scale data analytics provide a unique opportunity to exploit the data provided by social media, sensor networks, and predictive and forensic analysis. We will discuss cyber-physical systems for simulations, training, technology and tactics evaluation, forensics, synthesis of behavior models, semantic mapping, scenario play-through, information organization and visualization, and human-computer collaboration.

Dr. George Kamberov is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stevens Institute of Technology. He earned his M.S. in Mathematics at the University of Sofia in Bulgaria and his Ph.D in Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published widely in mathematics, computer science, computer vision, pattern recognition, and related fields. Dr. Kamberov also performs research in computer and network security, medical records, compression, and data reduction.

This lecture is presented by UAA Complex Systems and the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

This podcast was recorded on Feb. 16, 2012.

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