Can evolution reveal how life emerged from chemistry?

A group of biologists think that a new synthesis in evolutionary theory might help answer the question of how life’s progenitor originally emerged. A working group, meeting November 13-15, brings together evolutionary theorists and experimentalists to explore which evolutionary models might best explain how chemical systems become biological systems.

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New Book: The Ethical Algorithm

In The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design, SFI External Professor Michael Kearns and his University of Pennsylvania colleague Aaron Roth offer a set of principled solutions based on the emerging science of socially aware algorithm design.

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Information theory as a tool for extracting climate signals

During Earth’s last glacial period, temperatures on the planet periodically spiked dramatically and rapidly. A new paper in the journal Chaos by SFI's Joshua Garland, Liz Bradley, and coauthors suggests that mathematics from information theory could offer a powerful tool for analyzing and understanding them.

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Looking for entrenchment in all the right places

Ashley Teufel and Luis Zaman's working group, “The Point of No Return,” seeks to identify the underlying properties driving entrenchment, a phenomenon in which a single event can have a widespread effect on an entire system, and find ways to infer, predict or even control it.

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Study: Bigger cities boost ‘social crimes’

Why it is that only some crimes supercharge from city size is explained in a new paper published this week in Physical Review E.  According to Complexity Postdoctoral Fellow Vicky Chuqiao Yang and her coauthors, the same underlying mechanism that boosts urban innovation and startup businesses can also explain why certain types of crimes thrive in a larger population.       

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Workshop: Do living things compute?

For three days this fall, biologists, physicists, neuroscientists, and computer scientists gather for an SFI workshop to investigate the links between computational theory and biological systems. 

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Postdocs get reckless in sixth group conference

Reckless Ideas will feature high on the agenda of the sixth Postdocs in Complexity Conference, the latest in a twice-yearly series held at SFI and generously funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation (JSMF). The conference, to take place Aug. 27-30, brings together early-career complexity postdoctoral fellows in a wide range of disciplines from institutions around the world.

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