Monday, December 9, 2013

For the Love of Networks

When the invitation came from Dr. Adilson Motter to speak at the 2013 Network Frontier Workshop that he was organizing at Northwestern University I was very intrigued, even though the workshop was to take place in early December. Since I live (most of the time) in Massachusetts, I have experience with cold weather but, for some reason, that cold on Lake Michigan is quite unique.

But, since I love researching networks and teaching about the subject and find it one of the most powerful of scientific topics in bridging disciplines, of course, I said "yes!"

This workshop, which was a huge success, and I am still savoring the talks and discussions as well as the people that I met, was a three-day event, that took place last week, December 4-6, highlighting leading-edge research on complex networks. According to the workshop website: Participants working on innovative aspects of complex systems will communicate recent results and ideas relevant to fields as diverse as brain, climate, and socio-technological research. Sessions will include theory and applications of nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics in the context of synchronization, cascades, transportation, control, and failure recovery in complex dynamical systems.

The program, which featured talks on applications ranging from climate science to brain physiology and envisioning the future Internet (my topic) can be downloaded here.  The list of invited speakers can be viewed here.  Invited speakers were from the US, Europe, and Asia, and one industrialist told me that he flew in from China just to hear me speak. I hope that I did not disappoint.

I loved the applications described as well as the methodologies, which included innovations in dynamical systems and control theory applied to networks.

Thanks to Dr. Motter  and his team at the Northwestern Institute for Complex Systems (NICO) for putting this great workshop together. You succeeded in bringing researchers, practitioners, and students together to Evanston in December for the love of networks!

Below are some photos that I managed to take even though, honestly, my digital camera seemed to freeze (although I had charged it before flying out to Chicago).

The lunches and refreshments were delicious!

And, today, UMass Amherst has delayed its opening until noon because of the inclement weather but since we are interviewing a candidate for a faculty position, I will be going in. This afternoon, we are having our annual Isenberg Reindeer Seminar in the Isenberg School of Management atrium, which is a holiday party but first there will be a Personnel Committee meeting to attend. Never a dull moment in academia!