School Seminars and Colloquia

Magnets, Criticality and Collective Intelligence

Complex Systems Seminar

by Dr Julianne Halley


Institution: School of Biological Sciences, Monash University
Date: Fri 17th June 2005
Time: 3:15 PM
Location: Theatre 1, Old Geology Building, The University of Melbourne

Abstract: There is abundant evidence that natural selection is a dominant force in
evolution, but a growing number of researchers suggest that it acts in
concert with self-organization. From the smallest to largest scales,
self-organization can be found in most (if not all) levels of biology, and
parallels the ubiquity of self-organization in the non-biological world.
In this seminar, a brief overview of the history of the study of
self-organization in general and self-organized criticality in particular
will be provided. I then discuss groups of feeding Argentine ants, showing
how self-organization to an almost critical state enables a group to
collectively balance foraging efficiency with the need to avoid excessive
mortality. A new type of self-organized criticality, which I call rapid
self-organized criticality, will also be introduced.

For More Information: Emma Lockwood tel: 8344-1617 email: emmal@ms.unimelb.edu.au