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DALL·E 2024-05-09 00.18.55 - Create an abstract image of a complex fractal pattern with a

Challenges and Perspectives for Studying Emergence in Complex Systems - IAS Academy Workshop

DIEP Workshop | 2nd July 2024 | @IAS Academy, Roeterseiland campus (UvA)

Organizers: Wout Merbis, Fernando N. Santos

Workshop description

This workshop will focus on the "Challenges and Perspectives for Studying Emergence in Complex Systems," highlighting the spontaneous novel behaviours arising from complex systems' interactions. We will explore a range of methods and approaches related to Emergence in nature and society. We will discuss methods such as renormalisation group, stochastics, topological data analysis, and tensor networks, drawing insights from quantum statistical mechanics, information theory, algebraic topology, and condensed matter theory. 

We will explore how these methods can be applied to understand emergence in various domains such as neural networks in the brain, social phenomena like polarization and segregation, and ecological systems. This exploration aims to reveal underlying mathematical similarities across these different domains, offering new perspectives and tools for tackling some of the most intriguing and complex phenomena observed in the world around us.

Workshop Format 

The workshop is designed to engage participants from diverse academic backgrounds in a collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment. We offer a flexible format, which will be detailed after participants registration and selection. The workshop is based on the IAS and DIEP principles of Open Dialogue Sessions, Focused Exploration, and Participant-Led Insights.

Target Audience

PhD students, postdocs, and selected Master’s students interested in cross-disciplinary approaches to complex systems.

Preparatory Work

The workshop will be tailor-made to match DIEP's interests with the participant's interests so that we all have IAS  and DIEP experience on Emergence. Selected participants will receive preparatory instructions two weeks before the workshop, including suggested reading materials and details about their presentation, if applicable. We aim to create an informed and ready group of participants to maximize the productivity and depth of discussions.

Special Opportunities

All participants of the IAS Academy are encouraged to submit proposals for a new research line or activity post-workshop. Successful proposals may receive organizational support, meeting space at IAS, and seed funding of EUR 5,000 to further their research ideas or projects.

Join us!

This workshop is an excellent opportunity for early career researchers to experience the unique interdisciplinary and collaborative environment of the IAS. We welcome your curiosity, open-mindedness, and enthusiasm to explore new academic frontiers. Register today to be part of this innovative academy!

Registration (free)

Register here.
No set deadline, but registrations will close at 300 participants. Early registration is encouraged to secure your place.
For more information on the IAS Academy click here.



Fernando N. Santos
(University of Amsterdam)


Wout Merbis
(University of Amsterdam)

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