Recap: Complexity-GAINs International Summer School

This summer, 38 Ph.D. students from the U.S. and Europe gathered in Vienna, Austria, for SFI’s first Complexity-GAINs international summer school to better understand the dynamics of societies, with an eye toward preventing disintegration.

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Advancing science with machine learning

At the crossroads of computer science and computational science, the emerging field of scientific machine learning focuses on harnessing new ideas in machine learning together with predictive physics-based models to solve complex, real-world problems. On October 10–12, a group met to collaborate on new ideas about using scientific machine learning in complex fields.

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Quantifying the risk of regime change

Our financial, supply, energy, belief, and political systems are undergoing regime shifts. On October 3, SFI researchers and members of ACtioN and SFI’s Complexity Society met to explore these regime shifts from a complex systems perspective.

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InterPlanetary: Voyager to launch in October 2022

This October 22 & 23, SFI will reprise the InterPlanetary Festival. In partnership with SITE Santa Fe, this year’s festival offers an intimate setting with limited seating, and content simulcast to multiple screens in Santa Fe's Railyard Park and streamed online. 

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Literature’s hottest new author: E. Machina?

Imagine a bookshelf that stretches far into the distance, laden with genre fiction: potboilers, romances, thrillers. Farther down, we glimpse the royal blue of a Fitzcarraldo edition. The catch? Every book has the same author: E. Machina. They’ve all been written by AI. To SFI External Professor Dan Rockmore (Dartmouth College), we’re closer than we think to the world of that bookstore. The working group “The Anxiety of the Computational” explores questions about how AI-written literature might impact the humanities.

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Thermodynamics of computation: Central to not cooking the planet

Ten percent of carbon burned on Earth comes from devices like your cellphone, quietly computing even when you aren’t looking at it. Developing a greater understanding of the thermodynamics of computation like that done by your cellphone is critical to reducing energy use. It is also critical to understanding a host of deep, long-standing scientific problems. An Aug. 15–17 workshop, "The Thermodynamics of Natural and Artificial Distributed Computational Systems," meets to identify challenges, opportunities, and priorities to push forward scientific investigations of this topic. 

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New collaborations in complexity economics

At present, the global economy is experiencing structural changes that often seem unprecedented. Rapid technological evolution, climate migration, demographic shifts, and deepening inequality all contribute to the current flux of economic systems. The threat of economic reconfiguration also appears to be fueling political polarization around the globe. In light of the current patterns that researchers are observing, many seek new methods to understand the mechanisms that shape the new landscape. An August 8-12 working group explores “How Can Complexity Economics Give More Insight into Political Economy?” 

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Italian meeting explores quantitative human ecologies

To address climate change and other societal challenges like rising inequality, human migration, and biodiversity loss, humanity must consider the ecological, economic, and political constraints of our planetary systems. In late July, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, hosted a workshop to discuss these considerations and foster collaboration across research communities. SFI co-hosted the workshop in partnership with ICTP and the Fondazione Internazionale Trieste. 

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SFI Summer programs: back in full swing

After two years of online-only and postponed events, SFI's summer education programs are back in person. June brought students from around the world to participate in the Undergraduate Complexity Research, Complex Systems Summer School, Graduate Workshop in Computational Social Science, and Advanced Graduate Workshop programs. 

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From life’s possible metabolisms to life’s general principles

From its inception in 2017, the Santa Fe Institute’s Research Coordination Network has been bringing interdisciplinary researchers together to study life’s possible origins. This summer, SFI hosts two working groups through the RCN: “Feasible but Undiscovered Metabolisms,” from July 11–16, and “Multiple Life,” from August 22–26. 

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Illuminating the Structure of Technology

In a June 14-16 SFI workshop, “The Structure of Technology,” researchers seek to develop better frameworks to capture how technology emerges, takes shape, and shapes the world in turn. The workshop is the first of a series of meetings that are taking place through SFI’s Emergent Political Economies grant and research theme. 

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Researchers take a computational lens to theoretical immunology

The immune system is almost fantastically complex, and many basic questions remain unanswered about how it manages to keep us safe from intruders without attacking our own tissues. A June 8-10 SFI working group, Distributed Computing Perspectives on Theoretical Immunology, gathered a diverse community of researchers to both revisit classic problems in immunology with a fresh face and ask what new questions have arisen, taking advantage of recent developments in both biology and computer science.

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SFI Science Board examines the political economy of climate change

On April 30, 2022, the Santa Fe Institute’s Science Board hosted its annual symposium. The meeting’s topic — political economy and climate change — is central to SFI’s new Emergent Political Economies research theme, and will remain a focus of SFI research for the duration of the five-year grant and beyond. 

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Science of science workshop: discovery & inequality

The “science of science” turns the scientific method inward, on the scientific ecosystem itself, to understand its structure and dynamics. Largely confined to sociology and philosophy for decades, advances in computer technology at the turn of the century broadened the discipline into what is now an interdisciplinary field encompassing computer scientists, statisticians, biologists, physicists, and more. This May 5-6, the Institute hosted a meeting called “A New Synthesis for the Science of Science” to synthesize concepts, models, methods, and data to craft a new vision for the science of science. 

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