Maybe We Should Leave That Up to the Computer, NYTimes
Excerpts: A professor has been studying the decisions that managers make, and is convinced that computer models can do a better job of it.(...)
Some of Mr. Snijders's experiments from the last two years have looked at the results that purchasing managers at more than 300 organizations got when they placed orders for computer equipment and software. Computer models given the same tasks achieved better results in categories like timeliness of delivery, adherence to the budget and accuracy of specifications.
Increasing Consumer Preferences By Manipulating Memory, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Consumer preferences for a brand can be increased over the competition by techniques used to manipulate memory, finds research (...). The first experiment found that when participants had to solve an anagram before seeing a target brand, they were more likely to claim to have seen the brand before. Participants also had higher preference ratings for the brand relative to competing brands in the same product category. The second experiment showed (...), they were more likely to claim to have known the brand in high school, and to prefer it over competing brands. (...)
Science Education: A Strategy That Works: Hook 'Em While They're Young, Science
Excerpts: A groundbreaking program is giving Chinese high schoolers a chance to try their hand in a university lab--and audition for roles in China's innovation drive
While his friends were babysitting or waiting tables, 18-year-old Jim Liu spent his summer vacation last year in Boston, developing software that allows children to construct LEGO Mindstorms robots able to do everything from play soccer to dispense candy. Liu, a native of Shanghai, was one of 88 teenagers from across the world selected for the Research Science Institute (RSI), an all-expenses-paid summer program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Now back home, Liu is hoping some of the excitement he felt will rub off on fellow teens in China. He's a counselor with the inaugural RSI-China, which began last week here at Fudan University and will run through 15 August.
Gadgets Get The Feel Of The Tactile World, NewScientist
Excerpts: Gadgets that stimulate our sense of touch, known as haptic devices, will soon add a new dimension to communications, entertainment and computer control for everybody, and for people with visual impairment they promise to transform everyday life. Cellphones could soon have a tactile "display", for example, and portable gadgets containing a GPS...
Geoethical Nanotechnology Workshop To Explore Uploading, Mind-Machine Interfaces, KurzweilAI
Excerpts: The Terasem Movement announced today that its Second Geoethical Nanotechnology workshop will be held July 20, 2006 in Lincoln, Vermont. The public is invited to participate via conference call. The workshop will explore the ethics of neuronanotechnology and future mind-machine interfaces, including preservation of consciousness, implications...
Neuroprosthetics: In Search Of The Sixth Sense, Nature
Excerpts: Implants in the brain could one day help paralysed people move robotic arms and legs. But first, scientists need to work out how our brains know where our limbs are Shut your eyes. Now, touch your nose. Chances are you can do this without even thinking about it. For this you can thank your sense of proprioception, which is so much a part of us that most of us are unaware that it exists. This 'sixth sense' lets our brain know the relative positions in space of different parts of our bodies. Without it, our brains are lost.
Neuroscience: Converting Thoughts Into Action, Nature
Excerpts: There is a clear need to help people who have brain or spinal-cord damage to communicate and interact with the outside world. Progress to that end is being made with brain-implantation technology.
- Source: Neuroscience: Converting Thoughts Into Action, Stephen H. Scott1, DOI: 10.1038/442141a, Nature 442, 141-142, 06/07/12
Neuronal Ensemble Control Of Prosthetic Devices By A Human With Tetraplegia, Nature
Excerpts: Neuromotor prostheses (NMPs) aim to replace or restore lost motor functions in paralysed humans by routeing movement-related signals from the brain, around damaged parts of the nervous system, to external effectors. To translate preclinical results from intact animals to a clinically useful NMP, movement signals must persist in cortex after spinal cord injury and be engaged by movement intent when sensory inputs and limb movement are long absent. Furthermore, NMPs would require that intention-driven neuronal activity be converted into a control signal that enables useful tasks. Here we show initial results for a tetraplegic human (MN) using a pilot NMP. Neuronal ensemble activity recorded through a 96-microelectrode array implanted in primary motor cortex demonstrated that intended hand motion modulates cortical spiking patterns three years after spinal cord injury. Decoders were created, providing a 'neural cursor' with which MN opened simulated e-mail and operated devices such as a television, even while conversing. Furthermore, MN used neural control to open and close a prosthetic hand, and perform rudimentary actions with a multi-jointed robotic arm. These early results suggest that NMPs based upon intracortical neuronal ensemble spiking activity could provide a valuable new neurotechnology to restore independence for humans with paralysis.
- Source: Neuronal Ensemble Control Of Prosthetic Devices By A Human With Tetraplegia, Leigh R. Hochberg, Mijail D. Serruya, Gerhard M. Friehs, Jon A. Mukand, Maryam Saleh, Abraham H. Caplan, Almut Branner, David Chen, Richard D. Penn, John P. Donoghue, DOI: 10.1038/nature04970, Nature 442, 164-171, 06/07/13
A High-Performance Brain-Computer Interface, Nature
Excerpts: Recent studies have demonstrated that monkeys1,2,3,4 and humans5,6,7,8,9 can use signals from the brain to guide computer cursors. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) may one day assist patients suffering from neurological injury or disease, but relatively low system performance remains a major obstacle. In fact, the speed and accuracy with which keys can be selected using BCIs is still far lower than for systems relying on eye movements. This is true whether BCIs use recordings from populations of individual neurons using invasive electrode techniques1,2,3,4,5,7,8 or electroencephalogram recordings using less-6 or non-invasive9 techniques. Here we present the design and demonstration, using electrode arrays implanted in monkey dorsal premotor cortex, of a manyfold higher performance BCI than previously reported9,10. These results indicate that a fast and accurate key selection system, capable of operating with a range of keyboard sizes, is possible (up to 6.5 bits per second, or 15 words per minute, with 96 electrodes). The highest information throughput is achieved with unprecedentedly brief neural recordings, even as recording quality degrades over time. These performance results and their implications for system design should substantially increase the clinical viability of BCIs in humans.
Music: Calculated Tones, Nature
Excerpts: The opening chord of Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (in the third bar of the score pictured) caused quite a stir when the opera was premiered in 1865. The daring combination of tone intervals - the dissonant augmented fourth; the dynamic, imperfectly consonant major third; the highly consonant perfect fourth - came to be seen as a key change in attitudes to harmony, an overture to the atonality of much subsequent classical music.
Putting Your Computer To Work To Fight Against Malaria In Africa, Innovations-report
Excerpts: While you are sending an email or surfing the web, your computer could be helping to tackle one of Africa's major humanitarian challenges, malaria. Africa@home, a project conceived and coordinated by CERN , was launched publicly this week. (...) Malaria is responsible for about a million deaths every year in sub-Saharan Africa, and is the single biggest killer in children under five. The MalariaControl.net program is being used to simulate how malaria spreads through Africa. To install MalariaControl.net, volunteers just need to download the necessary software from the Africa@home website (www.africaathome.org), which will do the scientific calculations in the background, (...)
Better Be Convincing or Better Be Stylish?, JASSS
Abstract: Very often in the history of mankind, social changes took place because a minority was successful in persuading the dominant majority of a new idea. Social psychology provides empirically well-founded theories of social influence that can explain the power of minorities at individual level. In this contribution, we present an agent-based computer simulation of one such theory, the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM). (...)
Brainy Robots Start Stepping Into Daily Life, NYTimes
Excerpts: The advances can also be seen in the emergence of bold new projects intended to create more ambitious machines that can improve safety and security, entertain and inform, or just handle everyday tasks. (...), computer scientists are developing a robot that can use a hammer and a screwdriver to assemble an Ikea bookcase (...).
One pioneer in the field is building an electronic butler that could hold a conversation with its master - á la HAL in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" - or order more pet food.
Evolution: Competition Drives Big Beaks Out Of Business, Science
Excerpts: When the new kid on the bus is bigger than you are, it might be time to give up your seat. That's what's happened to a small seed-eating bird in the Galapagos Islands. The medium ground finch used to have one island pretty much to itself--and free rein to eat whatever size seeds suited it most.
Live Prey For Dummies: Meerkats Coach Pups On Hunting, Science News
Excerpts: Meerkats are natural teachers¡Xone of the few animals other than people so far shown to have the knack, say researchers.
Older hunters gradually introduce pups to the art of eating dinner before it runs away, (...)
"It's really important to understand simple forms of teaching if we're going to understand how human teaching evolved," says Thornton.
Plight Of The Native Bumble Bee, Newscientist
Excerpts: The future of the bumble bee you know and love is looking precarious at best - imported creatures are escaping and starting turf wars (...)
Bumblebees may be busy as ever in your backyard, but their future looks precarious at best. Foreign bumblebees imported to pollinate plants in commercial glasshouses could decimate natural populations if their use is not strictly controlled.
Non-native bumblebees have already escaped and survived to breed in both Chile and Japan.
Flying In Tune: Buzz Brings Mosquito Pairs Together, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Human beings are not the only animals keenly attuned to the high-pitched buzzing of mosquitoes--in fact, researchers have discovered, mosquitoes of both sexes are themselves highly responsive to the sounds of other mosquitoes and enter into complex mid-flight pre-mating duets that serve as a means of sex recognition. (...) It has been known for decades that the highly specialized hearing organ of male mosquitoes enables them to detect and locate females. (...) have now demonstrated that pairs of flying Toxorhynchites brevipalpis respond to each other in a feedback-like interaction, such that each alters its own flight tone (...).
Stuck Pig, Wired
Excerpts: Gryonic suspension may be just a few years away from clinical trials on humans, based on successful suspended animation with hundreds of pigs for an hour at a time. (...)
But 78-6 is, in fact, only mostly dead - the common term for her state is, believe it or not, suspended animation. (...), cryogenic suspension may be just two years away from clinical trials on humans (...). Trauma surgeons can't wait - saving people with serious wounds, like gunshots, is always a race against the effects of blood loss.
Palaeontology: A Ghost With A Bite, Nature
Excerpts: Witness a snail scraping microbial films from the inside of an aquarium. Go back 505 million years, and this looks to have been the way an enigmatic early animal made its living (but without the aquarium). A faint shade on a piece of shale from British Columbia, Canada, has haunted palaeontology for 30 years. This is the fossil of Odontogriphus, the half-a-billion-year-old 'toothed riddle' from the Cambrian Burgess Shale, which has never really found peace within the evolutionary scheme of animals. With a poorly preserved body, it was mainly known through peculiarly arranged tooth-like spines, hypothesized to be the stiff supports of a cluster of tentacles. On page 159 of this issue, Caron et al.1 present new fossils of the 'toothed riddle'. Odontogriphus at last comes into clear view, with a firm body and prominent teeth. This view suggests that it is allied to primitive molluscs, and so provides fresh insight into the early evolution of animals.
Van Gogh Painted Perfect Turbulence, News@Nature
Vincent van Gogh is known for his chaotic paintings and similarly tumultuous state of mind. Now a mathematical analysis of his works reveals that the stormy patterns in many of his paintings are uncannily like real turbulence, as seen in swirling water or the air from a jet engine.
The Starry Night has really turbulent swirls. © AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Physicist Jose Luis Aragon of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Queretaro and his co-workers have found that the Dutch artist's works have a pattern of light and dark that closely follows the deep mathematical structure of turbulent flow. (...)
Quantum Engineering: An Atom-Sorting Machine, Nature
Excerpts: Quantum Engineering: An Atom-Sorting Machine http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v442/n7099/full/442151a.html Yevhen Miroshnychenko1, Wolfgang Alt1, Igor Dotsenko1, Leonid Forster1, Mkrtych Khudaverdyan1, Dieter Meschede1, Dominik Schrader1 and Arno Rauschenbeutel1 Laser-trapped atoms in strings can be deftly rearranged and the spacing between them precisely adjusted. Laser cooling and trapping techniques allow us to control and manipulate neutral atoms1. Here we rearrange, with submicrometre precision, the positions and ordering of laser-trapped atoms within strings by manipulating individual atoms with optical tweezers2. Strings of equidistant atoms created in this way could serve as a scalable memory for quantum information3.
- Source: Quantum Engineering: An Atom-Sorting Machine, Yevhen Miroshnychenko, Wolfgang Alt, Igor Dotsenko, Leonid Forster, Mkrtych Khudaverdyan, Dieter Meschede, Dominik Schrader, Arno Rauschenbeutel, DOI: 10.1038/442151a, Nature 442, 151, 06/07/13
Solid-State Physics: Supersolid Simulations, Nature
Excerpts: Supersolids ¡X substances that are crystalline but also behave as free-flowing superfluids ¡X can exist, according to quantum theory. Models now suggest a route to the clinching experimental evidence. Quantum theory predicts the existence of several phases of matter that have counterintuitive properties. Some of these phases ¡X such as superconductors, through which electricity flows without resistance, and super-fluids, which flow without friction ¡X have been experimentally verified and have assumed major roles in science and technology. Others, such as atomic supersolids, are more elusive. Supersolids have seemingly mutually exclusive properties: they are rigid crystals with well-defined, long-range spatial order, but they can also behave as if they are superfluids.
Physics: Controlling Friction, Science
Excerpts: According to Plato, necessity is the mother of invention. Scientists and engineers working on small-scale mechanical devices may be relieved to find this idea starting to take effect at the nanometer scale. There is a critical need to control the effect of friction at this scale, and in this issue, two groups (1, 2) provide independent and precise means of doing just that.
Excerpts: Every day, the sun bathes the planet in energy--free of charge--yet few systems can take advantage of that source for both heating and cooling. Now, researchers are making progress on a thin-film technology that adheres both solar cells and heat pumps onto surfaces, ultimately turning walls, windows, and maybe even soda bottles into climate control systems. (...) Active Building Envelope (ABE) system. Comprised of solar panels, solid-state, thermoelectric heat pumps and a storage device to provide energy on rainy days (literally), the ABE system accomplishes the jobs of both cooling and heating, yet operates silently with no moving parts. (...)
Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another, by Philip Ball, JASSS
Excerpt: (...) The idea is that the behaviour of many humans in aggregate can be accurately captured in a mathematical model even though this may not be possible for the behaviour of any particular individual. In other words there are clever "short cuts" that would allow us to bypass our lack of understanding of individual human behaviour as we observe it in everyday life, to obtain successful analytic models of humans en masse. (...)
Social Emergence: Societies as Complex Systems, by R. Keith Sawyer, JASSS
Excerpt: As a simulator who has spent sufficient time amongst sociologists to know something about them, I enjoyed reading this book. It is clearly written and describes challenging theories in an accessible way. I also found it thought provoking for my own research. However, I am rather unconvinced that it will "contribute to resolutions of long-standing unresolved issues in sociology and provides methodologies that are of immediate use to sociologists…." (p. 2). (...)
Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Network
Excerpts: The setting was the Armed Services Committee's opening hearing into how terrorists should face trial, (...). Testimony from the leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines' justice systems showed how foolish the administration was to sideline both Congress and the existing military justice system in crafting its plan for terrorism trials. Had the conversation that began yesterday taken place soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, many terrorists might today be serving prison sentences instead of being warehoused -- and some innocent men being warehoused might be free.
Excerpts: PERHAPS ONE way the District can get more federal money to guard against possible terrorist attacks is to establish more petting zoos. That seems like a lesson to be drawn from an absurd list of possible targets that the federal government has established to help decide where to direct anti-terror funds.
The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, (...), spotlighted problems with the department's database of sites deemed to be of national or local importance. Among the sites listed: the Amish Country Popcorn Factory (in Berne, Ind.), (...).
Links & Snippets
- UK Software Faces A Brain Drain, IT Week staff, 2006/07/10, vnunet.com & IT Week
- An Entropic Characterization Of Protein Interaction Networks And Cellular Robustness, T. Manke, L. Demetrius, M. Vingron, 2006/07/11, Journal of The Royal Society Interface, DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2006.0140
- Friend Or Foe: Could A Protein Linked To Alzheimer's Be Related To Vision Loss In Seniors, 2006/07/12, ScienceDaily & Saint Louis University
- Scientists Build First Brain Box Computer, 2006/07/13, Innovations-report
- Bird Brains Shrink From Exposure To Contaminants, 2006/07/13, ScienceDaily & University of Alberta
- Tooth Microstructure Tracks The Pace Of Human Life-History Evolution, M. C. Dean, 2006/07/14, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3583
- Coevolution of Agents and Networks: Opinion Spreading and Community Disconnection, Santiago Gil, Damián H. Zanette, 2006/07/31, Physics Letters A 356(2):89-94, DOI: 10.1016/j.physleta.2006.03.037
- Truth and Cognitive Division of Labour: First Steps Towards a Computer Aided Social Epistemology, Rainer Hegselmann, Ulrich Krause, 2006/6/30, JASSS 9(3)
- Comparing Extremism Propagation Patterns in Continuous Opinion Models, Guillaume Deffuant, 2006/6/30, JASSS 9(3)
- Using Hybrid Agent-Based Systems to Model Spatially-Influenced Retail Markets, Alison Heppenstall, Andrew Evans, Mark Birkin, 2006/6/30, JASSS 9(3)
- Spatial Behavior in Groups: an Agent-Based Approach, Francesc S. Beltran, Laura Salas, Vicenç Quera, 2006/6/30, JASSS 9(3)
- Votes and Lobbying in the European Decision-Making Process: Application to the European Regulation on GMO Release, Juliette Rouchier, Sophie Thoyer, 2006/6/30, JASSS 9(3)
- The Simulation of Financial Markets by an Agent-Based Mix-Game Model, Chengling Gou, 2006/6/30, JASSS 9(3)
- Simulation of the Categorization-Elaboration Model of Diversity and Work-Group Performance, Victor Palmer, 2006/6/30, JASSS 9(3)
- Is Production Pulling Knowledge Work To China? A Study Of The Notebook PC Industry, J. Dedrick, K. L. Kraemer, Jul. 2006, Computer Magazine, IEEE
- Can Indian Software Firms Compete With The Global Giants?, P. Konana, Jul. 2006, Computer Magazine, IEEE
- Experimental Study Of Stochastic Resonance In A Chua's Circuit Operating In A Chaotic Regime, W. Korneta, I. Gomes, C. R. Mirasso - claudiogaliota.uib.es, R. Toral, Jul. 2006, online 2006/07/07, Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2006.05.016
- Key Issues And Causes Of The Italian Brain Drain, S. M. Foadi, Jun. 2006, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, DOI: 10.1080/13511610600804315
- Word Organization In Coding DNA: A Mathematical Model, I. Mukhopadhyay - imukhopadhyayhgen.pitt.edu, A. Som - anup.somasu.edu, S. Sahoo, Jun. 2006, online 2006/04/27, Theory in Biosciences, DOI: 10.1016/j.thbio.2006.03.002
- How Science Is Applied In Technology, M. Boon, Mar. 2006, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, DOI: 10.1080/02698590600640992
Artificial Life X,
10th Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, Bloomington, IN, USA. 2006/06/03-07
6th Understanding Complex Systems Symposium, Urbana-Champaign, Il, 06/05/15-18
Ralph Abraham on Complexity Digest, , Calcutta, India, 05/12/27
- An Afternoon with Michael Crichton, Washington, 05/11/06
Illuminating the Shadow of the Future, Ann Arbor, Mi 05/09/23-25
Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems - Brainstorming Meeting, Paris, France 05/09/19-23
Complexity, Science & Society Conference 2005, U. Liverpool, UK 2005/09/11-14
ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life,
Canterbury, Kent, UK 2005/09/5-9
T. Irene Sanders, Executive Director and Founder, The Washington Center for Complexity & Public Policy, 05/08/27, QuickTime video (10:38 min), Podcast
- North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2005 Conference, Virtual Conference Network, St. Pete's Beach, Florida, 05/06/09-11
- Understanding Complex Systems - Computational Complexity and Bioinformatics, Virtual Conference Network, Urbana-Champaign, Il, UIUC, 05/05/16-19
- Nonlinearity, Fluctuations, and Complexity, with a celebration of the 65th birthday of Gregoire Nicolis. , Complexity Session, Universite' Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, 05/03/16
- World Economic Forum , Davos, Switzerland, 05/01/26-30
1st European Conference on Complex Systems, Torino, Italy, 04/12/5-7
From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela (1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20
Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium, 04/05/26-28
International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H., Internet-First University Press, 1994
- CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and Live Events
- Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998
- Edge Videos
Call for Papers - Course/Book Announcements
- Chaos and Complexity
Resources for Students and Teachers, 06/03/01
MSc Complexity Science: Systems Thinking from New Biology to Novel Computation, Southampton, UK
Volume Four Complexity and Knowledge Management: Understanding the Role of Knowledge in the Management of Social Networks, ISCE Managing the Complex Book Series
- New Issue of
Emergence: Complexity & Organization (E:CO) Special Issue on Leadership and Complexity