Complexity Science Speakers needed for lecture series

From: John Grigg (
Date: Wed Oct 17 2001 - 20:56:59 MDT

Hello everyone,

At the University of Alaska Anchorage they are still planning the guest speaker schedule for the Complexity Science lecture series. Speakers are flown up from all over, so why not have one from within the Extropian ranks?
Anyone else interested?? We have so many potential candidates on the list.

I think this is a great opportunity.


Subject: Complexity Speaker Schedule, Discussion Board, etc
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 10:35:19 -0800


UAA's Complex Systems Group is in an exciting growth stage, and I wanted
to take this opportunity to bring several items of interest (complexity
discussion board, a biology presentation, and a schedule of upcoming
speakers) to your attention.

New Web Site and Discussion Board

We are in the process of completely revamping our web site and will move
the content to more of an educational, rather than informational, focus.
We hope to be up and running in the near future and will let you know
when the new site is complete. I think you'll like the variety of
articles offered and our Ask an Expert column.

One of the new features will be a discussion board that will run through
the University's Blackboard system, which is an online classroom. The
open forum will allow you to talk with other members of the complexity
community re: a wide variety of topics, problems, potential solutions,

Action Item: Please let me know if you are interested in becoming
involved in our discussion board and if you have a particular topic or
question that you'd like to post. If you are interested, then I'll need
to provide our Information Technology department with your first name,
middle initial, last name, and social security number, which will
provide you with initial access to the discussion board. You may either
email this information directly to me at> or you may contact me by telephone at
907-786-4748. Your social security number will be assigned as your
initial password into the Blackboard classroom site; however, you will
be able to immediately change your password once you enter the system.
Again, this discussion board will be available to you when our new site
is finalized (approximately two weeks).

Biology Presentation--October 19

Dr. John Pepper of the Santa Fe Institute will present a talk at the UAA
campus on Friday, October 19, entitled "Agent-Based Modeling of
Multi-Level Selection: The Evolution of Feeding Restraint as a Case
Study." This talk is free and is open to the public and will be held
from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm in the Engineering Building Room 110.

Presentation synopsis: Evolutionary biologists are increasingly
interested in the dynamics of multi-level selection, that is, selection
acting simultaneously at more than one level in a hierarchy of
reproducing entities (e.g., gene, chromosome, organelle, cell, organism,
group, community, ecosystem). Systems of linear equations are the usual
tool for studying evolution but may be poorly suited to capturing
important dynamics of multi-level selection. Here we use an agent-based
model to study the evolution of cooperation in spatially structured
populations. This work addresses the long-standing controversy over the
role of "group selection" or natural selection between groups vs. within
groups of interacting individuals. In an ecologically plausible
setting, cooperative individuals with lower rates of food consumption
compete reproductively against selfish individuals with higher rates of
consumption. The results show that changing the spatial distribution of
food, and thus the distribution of the individuals seeking it, can
determine whether or not cooperation evolves. In this model,
cooperation evolved under a fairly wide range of parameter values, even
without the kinship effects that are sometimes thought to be necessary.
We suggest that integrating equation-based analysis tools into
agent-based models is a powerful way to study selection in systems of
complex dynamics.

Brown Bag Complexity Dialogue Luncheons

We've scheduled the following complexity luncheons on the Anchorage
campus; please share this information with your peers and co-workers.
All presentations are free and are open to the public. The
presentations will be held on the UAA campus in the Campus Center Room
105 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm; please feel free to contact me at
907-786-4748 if you'd like further information or directions to the
Campus Center. Please feel free to bring your lunch to these
presentations; you may also purchase a sandwich at Subway Sandwiches,
which is located just across the hall from Room 105.

November 2

Dr. Greg Protasel
College of Business and Public Policy
University of Alaska Anchorage
"The Challenge of Managing Complexity"

December 7

Dr. Mary Logan
School of Nursing
University of Alaska Anchorage
"Using Simulation Modeling to Develop Health Care Policy"

Other News

We are currently in the process of gathering names and biographies for
our Spring 2002 Complex Systems Lecture Series, which we hope to
schedule in late March and throughout the month of April, and we'll keep
you posted on the latest developments as they become available. I think
you can look forward to another exciting season!!

As always, please feel free to contact me should you require additional
information, and have a wonderful day.

Cheryl Wright
Administrative Secretary
The Complex Systems Group
University of Alaska Anchorage
907-786-4748 <>

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