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C3 symposia

Bringing together complex systems experts from around the world
Every two years, we host a symposium which brings together leading international scholars to discuss the latest in complex systems research.

About the symposia

The Complexity, Criticality and Computation (C3) symposia bring to light emerging research and ideas about complex systems. In particular, we explore the relationship between three key concepts:

1. Complexity

A system can be thought of as complex if its dynamics cannot be easily predicted, or explained, as a linear summation of the individual dynamics of its components.

2. Criticality

There is a growing awareness that complexity is strongly related to criticality, which is the behaviour of dynamical spatiotemporal systems at an order/disorder phase transition where scale invariance prevails.

3. Computation

Complex systems can also be viewed as distributed information-processing systems. Global systems behaviour (eg cell behaviour resultant from gene regulatory networks) emerges as the result of the local interaction of individuals - can these interactions be seen as a generic computational process? 

The symposia take place every two years. Last held in 2017, the next symposium will take place in December 2019 and will be followed by a C3 camp. Details will be announced soon.

2017 symposium

At this symposium, we considered a diverse range of systems, applications, theoretical and practical approaches to computational modelling of modern complex systems. These included:

  • information theory
  • agent-based simulation
  • network theory
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • swarm intelligence
  • evolutionary methods
  • computational neuroscience
  • econophysics.

For a full list of topics, download a copy of the program (pdf, 98.4KB).

Invited speakers
Regular speakers
Closing address - 'The complexity of the Universe'
  • Professor Paul Davies, Arizona State University, Regents' Professor and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, Co-Director ASU Cosmology Initiative, Principal Investigator Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology.


The C3 symposium was co-sponsored by the Centre for Complex Systems, the CRISIS project, and the postgraduate program in Complex Systems.

Entropy was a media partner of the symposium. Read the special issue of Entropy which followed the symposium.

Professor Mikhail Prokopenko

Director, Centre for Complex Systems
  • Civil Engineering J05