CCSS Events

How can brain regulate cognitive processes by changing properties of individual cells?

Dr. Michal Zochowski
University of Michigan

May 4, 2016

Brain is a complex and evolving network. While a lot is known about its biology, the dynamical principles underlying information processing in the brain remain elusive. However, it becomes apparent that to understand dynamics of brain function one has investigate the effects of dynamical properties of individual cells on network-wide spatio-temporal pattern formation.In this talk I will use example of neuromodulatory effects of Achetylcholine (Ach) on individual neurons, to underscore the link between changing cellular properties and evolving network dynamics with their possible implication for brain function.

Ach, being one of multitude of neuromodulators in the brain, has multifaceted effects of neuronal excitabilty that thought to be especially important during regulation of sleep/wake cycle and also during attention. I will use network models to detangle these effects on the network level, and highlight their possible respective roles for information processing.

Winner takes it all!

Student Group Project Competition in the Complex System Class

All the winner groups!

 As every year students from the Complex System Class created groups, chose a project and worked hard on it. And as usually, on the afternoon of last Wednesday in winter term they presented their project on posters. But in this year, students had to face a new challenge! After they showed their projetcs to each other, they had to make a hard decision and vote nameless which group project is the best in their opinion! There were a first and a second prize. And there will be a little surprise: Professor Jan Tobochnik from Departments of Physics and Computer Science also picked a winner! Congratulations to all the winners!

GPS in the Brain

Dr. Michael Hasselmo
Boston University

March 1, 2106

Old and New Methods in the Age of Big Data

Dr. Zoltán Somogyvári
Wigner Research Centre for Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

October 22, 2015

In the age, when we have more data than we could imagine, it is more
important to reveal and understand the structures and the processes behind
the data, than ever. The data could be either two time sequences of stock
market indexes, temporal changes of two species’ population size or EEG
brain signals from someone’s two hemispheres. Our central question is that,
how is it possible to infer the connections between the two (or more) time
series by mathematical tools? Can we observe more, than the correlated
changes, thus can we state more, than the existence of the connections? I
will show, that new analysis methods makes possible to determine the
direction of the effects, thus to distinguish between causes and
consequences. Application of such method makes visible the ecological
relations between preys and predators in the oceans as well as the changes
of connection between brain areas during epileptic seizures, which may help
to localize the epileptic foci during surgical preparation.

Complex Systems Springfest ’15 

May 31st, 2015

  • Ebola I-II:Data, numerical solution of ODEs, parameter estimation, stochastic simulation (Amber & Kamal)
  • Stochastic kinetics of gene expression: results and open problems (Raoul)
  • Neuroscience I: Effects on anxiolytics in the entorhinal cortex: preliminary model frameworks, difficulties (Tibin)
  • Neuroscience II. Simulation of bidirectional synaptic plasticity – and the role of amyloid beta (Takumi, Mousa)
  • Patent I. General framework (Hayley, Louis)
  • Patent II: Dirty Hands group (Raoul & Co,)
  • Patent III. Theory groups (Abhay & Co)
  • Scientific determinism and the limits of predictability (Brian)
  • Computational cognitive science (Jeet)

Group Meetings

Patent Citation Network group weekly meetings: Monday 8.45-10pm (March 30 – June 1, 2015)

Neuroscience Group meeting: Thursday 10-11am (March 30 – June 1, 2015)

Epidemic Modeling Group meeting: Friday 10.45-11.40am (March 30 – June 1, 2015)

The Complex Science Society (CSS) Meeting with the Faculty (May 15th, 10.40).

Inhibitory limits on sensory feedback permit smooth movement

Andrew Fink 
Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University

May 4, 2015

We had a number of undocumented events, in the past years but now CCSS has been revitalized :-).

Mini-workshop on Advanced Analytics

November 2, 2010

  • Tim Rey (Dow, Midland): Advanced Analytics at The Dow Chemical Company
  • Patricia L. Ruppel and James M. Dancy (Innovative Analytics, Kalamazoo): About Innovative Analytics
  • Péter Érdi (CCSS Kalamazoo College): Prediction of Emerging Technologies Based on Analysis of the U.S. Patent Citation Network

Workshop on Computational Political Science and Legal Studies

Co-organized by the Political Science Department and the Center for Complex Systems Studies at Kalamazoo College.

March 5, 2010

  • Amy Elman, Professor, Political Science, Péter Érdi, Henry R. Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies
  • Bryan Jones (Univ. Texas, Austin): “The Big Picture”
  • Katherine Strandburg (New York University) : “Law and Network Science: An Application to Patent Citation Networks Break”
  • Frank Baumgartner (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill): “Power Laws in Government Budgeting”
  • Kinga Makovi (CCSS; Corvinus University of Budapest, Faculty of
  • Economics): “Prediction of emerging technologies by clustering patent citation networks”
  • László Zalányi (Dept. Biophysics, KFKI RINP, Hungarian Acad. Sci): “Dynamic Threshold Modeling of Budget Changes”
  • Panel discussion (Moderators: Dan Kato (Pol.Sci), Jan Tobochnik, (Physics) Where we are now?

Science Education, Job Market Competition, and Related Regulatory Transparency in a Globalizing World

Peter Andras
Reader in Complex Systems and Computational Intelligence, School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle, UK

October 23, 2009

The role of science education, in preparing and selecting individuals for jobs requiring above average level cognitive effort for problem solving; IQ and student performance in science disciplines; widening participation and its effect on sampling the population for university studies and in particular for science studies; job market requirements – IQ, problem solving skills, training in sciences; regulatory distortions of job market competition – positive and negative discrimination; impact of regulatory distortions and media communications on common perceived importance and relevance of science education; the impact of globalization – the importance of regulatory transparency; globalization and specialization.

Henry R. Luce Lectures on Complex Systems

Neural computation, swarm intelligence, public health, behavioral economics, cultural dynamics

May 29th, 2009

  • Péter Érdi, Henry R. Luce Professor, Center for Complex Systems Studies, Department of Physics, Department of Psychology, Kalamazoo College
  • Tamás Kiss, CNS Group, Hungarian Acadademy of Sciences, Budapest, Pfizer Inc. Groton: “How the brain represents space, computes distances, finds goals? “
  • James S. Potter, Kalamazoo College, CCSS: “Pheremonal Pathfinding in Ant Colonies “
  • Michael Ball, Kent State University: “Community Health: A Complexity Science Perspective”
  • Michael Ellinger, Western Michigan University: “Neural physiology and “spike” analysis”
  • Brad Flaugher, Kalamazoo College “The Effects of Overreaction to Bad News”
  • David Kirklewski and James William Truszkowsk, Western Michigan University: “Chaotic Electronic Circuits”
  • Phil Gray, Kalamazoo College: “Toward a Prefrontal Model of Short Term Synaptic Plasticity: Network Architecture and Working Memory Deficits”
  • Russel Golman, University of Michigan, “Basins of Attraction and Equilibrium Selection Under Individual and Cultural Learning Dynamics”

Language Identification: A Computation Linguistics Primer

Dr. Will Fitzgerald
Senior Research Development Engineer, Powerset

April 20, 2009

Automatic language identification, that is, the identification of the language in which a sample of text or speech was produced, is one of the classic problems in computational linguistics, and, as such, is a useful introduction to some of the general approaches taken by language technology practitioners and researchers. In this talk, we will walk through a description of the problem, describe some of the theoretical underpinnings of language identification, discuss algorithms for language identification, and how such algorithms are evaluated. We will put this into the general context of human language technology. We will look at a related problem, code-switching identification, that is, identifying when language users switch languages during discourse, and language relatedness, that is, identifying the genetic relationships between languages.

How Concepts of Evolution Fertilized Complex Systems Theory?

Péter Érdi
Henry R. Luce Professor, Center for Complex Systems Studies,Kalamazoo College

February 10, 2009

Darwin’s celebrated concept, “natural selection”, a causal mechanism for biological evolution influenced our way of thinking about the emergence of complexity. Several questions will be discussed in the lecture:

  • How Darwin fertilized theories about the emergence of physical, biological and social complexity?
  • How do we see now the the hypothesis which states that the evolution is irreversible?
  • Is natural selection, i.e. a spontaneous mechanism is sufficient to develop moral rules of cooperation from the interaction of self-interested people?
  • Can we establish “artificial life” and “artificial societies” by evolutionary computational models?

Henry R. Luce Lectures on Complex Systems

Decision making, Sociology, Biology

May 23, 2008

Péter Érdi
Henry R. Luce Professor, Center for Complex Systems Studies
Department of Physics, Department of Psychology, Kalamazoo College

Jen Watkins
Los Alamos National Laboratory

“Collective decision making: from Kalamazoo to Los Alamos”
Jen Watkins (K’05) designed her on interdisciplinary major ‘Mechanics of the Mind’, combining psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and complex systems studies She is a founding member of the Collective Decision Making Systems project.

Brian Castellani
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology, Kent State University
Ashtabula, Ohio

“Sociology and Complexity Science”
Dr. Castellani has a master in clinical psychology and a doctorate in medical sociology. He is interested among others in ”Teaching Complexity Science to Undergraduates in the Social Sciences.

Frank Severance
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Western Michigan University

“Complex Systems from the Next Door. Extracting Order from Complexity: A Bayesean Approach to Neural Biology”
Dr. Severance teaches systems theory, modeling and simulation methods and related fields, and is interested in biological applications.

Chris Klausmeier
Assistant Professor of Plant Biology
Kellogg Biological Station
Michigan State University

“Complexity and Ecology”
Dr.Klausmeier seeks to uncover the general principles that organize ecological communities and ecosystems by combining mathematical models and empirical approaches.

Vaibhav Diwadkar
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences
Wayne State University School of Medicine

“Cognitive Neuroscience and Schizophrenia”
Dr. Diwadkar investigates the role of brain regions and pathways among them in
schizophrenia during learning and memory formation by using brain imaging methods.He has been collaborating with us to combine experimental methods with computational modeling, and the first papers – with our students as co-authors – are in press.

Power-law distribution in budget changes: macroscopic and microscopic modeling strategies

Dr. Gábor Borgulya, MD, MSc
Computational Neuroscience Group
KFKI RIPNP of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Budapest, Hungary

March 5, 2008

Political scientists have observed that annual budget changes follow long-tail distributions, detailed analyses suggest power-law distributions. We have overviewed the possible macroscopic and microscopic mechanisms, which may generate exact or approximate power-law distributions and suggest a generic macroscopic model and modelling framework.

Superstars and Long Tails: The Consequences of Localized Increasing Returns

P. J. Lamberson
Center for the Study of Complex Systems
University of Michigan

February 20, 2008

In this talk, I describe a model of consumer choice based on localized increasing returns. Consumers choose products by first limiting their choice to a subset of options, in order to reduce the information costs of their decision or to satisfy product attribute requirements, and then selecting from this feasible set based on a combination of individual preferences and increasing returns to sales. The market level consequences of the model are examined through simulation, and two key findings are explored. First, the critical factor in determining the shape of the market share distribution is the distribution of feasible set sizes. Second, in most cases, the resulting distribution of shares follows a power law. This second finding is supported by recent empirical research and explains why in many markets a ?Long Tail? of niche products is observed despite the winner take-all-prediction of previous increasing returns research. I demonstrate that consumer preference data can be employed to predict market success with both global and local increasing returns, but that consumer choices more accurately reflect individual consumer preferences when increasing returns are localized.

Chemical waves in physical fields and a crazy clock reaction

Prof. István Nagypál
Department of Physical Chemistry
Szeged University

March 27, 2007

Characteristic features of the autocatalytic reactions. Survey of the phenomena connected to autocatalytic reactions. Frontreactions; coupling of reaction and diffusion. Gravity induced anisotropy of the velocity of front reaction. Role of convection. Chemical contraction and dilatation. The effect of magnetic fields. Clock reactions. Oxidation of thisulfate by chlorite ion. Individually irreproducible clock reaction with reproducible cummulative probability distribution. Extreme sensitivity to the reaction volume and stirring rate. Interpretation. An algorithm for the design of propagating acidity fronts.