Complexity, Criticality and Computation (C3) Research Camp 2016

This week-long research camp explores the importance of studying complex systems.

The study of complex systems is about understanding indirect effects. Why is it necessary to study complex systems? Humans are typically inclined to use reductionist logic. To understand how a system would behave overall, or to test whether a human-made system works as it was intended to, we put it through a series of ‘short, discrete’ scenarios, expecting a ‘correct response’ to each scenario. However, complex systems do not lend themselves to short, discrete scenarios. Not all scenarios have clear endings or known, correct answers. How do we evaluate the usability of, or predict the behaviour of systems that are too complex for our typical reductionist reasoning? The answer to this question is not intuitive or trivial, and a specific skill set needs to be developed in order to answer it.

It will be organised by the University's Centre for Complex Systems (CCS), and co-hosted by the University's Charles Perkins Centre (CPC).

During this event we will consider a diverse range of systems, applications, theoretical and practical approaches to computational modelling of modern complex systems, including information theory, agent-based simulation, network theory, nonlinear dynamics, swarm intelligence, evolutionary methods, computational neuroscience, and econophysics.

Event details

When: 9am - 5pm, 30 November (Wed) - 6 December (Tue), 2016
Where: Charles Perkins Centre Seminar Rooms, The University of Sydney
Cost: Free
Registration: Please email Mikhail Prokopenko with your name and affiliation, by Nov 23.


Each theme will include a number of three-hour tutorials, delivered by complex systems experts, from our own Master of Complex Systems program and overseas:

Theme 1: Models for Complex Systems

  • 30 November (Wed), morning: Prof Mikhail Prokopenko, University of Sydney, Information-theoretic measures of complexity
  • 30 November (Wed), afternoon: Dr Michael Harre, University of Sydney, Agent based simulations of complex interactions in game theory

Theme 2: Complex Biological Systems

Theme 3: Complex Adaptive Systems

  • 5 December (Mon), morning: Prof Anne-Marie Grisogono, Flinders University, Adaptation and emergence in complex systems
  • 5 December (Mon), afternoon: Dr Justin Werfel, Harvard University, Bio-inspired and swarm engineering, and evolutionary dynamics
  • 6 December (Tue), morning: A/Prof Eduardo Altmann, University of Sydney, Statistical Laws of Extreme Events
  • 6 December (Tue), afternoon:Prof Ian Ford, University College London, Closing lecture, Entropy-reducing dynamics of a double demon?