Dr. Ron Eglash: "Self Organization in Science and Society"

2008-09-24 by News, Sports, and Art

The UAA Complex Systems Group presents Dr. Ron Eglash. Self-organization has become an increasingly important phenomenon in both the natural sciences and engineering. Self-assembly of carbon “bucky balls” are critical to nanotechnology; self-organizing swarms of insects are modeled in biology and robotics, and so on. But recursive loops in which things govern themselves are also foundational to society. Democracy is the people governing the people. Social networks in both physical life and Internet domains arise by self-assembly, and some decentralized indigenous societies build self-similar architecture. Can self-organization lead us to a more just and sustainable future?

Dr. Eglash, Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic University, holds a B.S. in Cybernetics, an M.S. in Systems Engineering and a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness, all from the University of California. A Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship enabled his field research on African ethnomathematics, which was published by Rutgers University Press in 1999 as “African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design.”

Recorded: Friday, September 19, 2008

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