International Workshop on Nonlinearity, Nonequilibrium and Complexity: Questions and perspectives in Statistical Physics.

     405618_299564116768790_1602251248_n    The workshop is aimed at discussing a few chosen contemporary developments in statistical physics. Topics include problems in condensed matter and dynamical systems (pattern structures, granular matter, glass formation, turbulence, marginal chaos, etc.); and also current applications outside of traditional fields in physics (in biology, ecology, sociology, economy, seismology and other geophysical, astrophysical phenomena, complexity in urban developments, complexity in linguistics, literature and arts, etc.). There would be an examination of equilibrium and nonequilibrium theories, and of the current efforts in generalizing statistical mechanical structures and methods. We would like to emphasize that our aim is to make the meeting the occasion for a memorable scientific discussion that can be carried out comfortably in an intimate environment.

International Workshop on Nonlinearity, Nonequilibrium and Complexity: Questions and perspectives in Statistical Physics. This is an event in honor of Prof. Alberto Robledo’s 70th birthday.

Mexico City, Mexico

International Workshop on Nonlinearity, Nonequilibrium and Complexity: Questions and perspectives in Statistical Physics.

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A New Mathematical Model for Memory – repost

Repost from the excellent site neurosciencenews.com:

Human memory is the result of different mental processes, such as learning, remembering and forgetting. However, these distinct processes cannot be observed directly. Researchers at the University of Basel now succeeded at describing them using computational models. The scientists were thus for the first time able to identify gene sets responsible for steering specific memory processes. Their results have been published in the current issue of the journal PNAS.

Thanks to our memory we are able to learn foreign languages, solve exams and remember beautiful moments from the past. To ensure optimal memory performance, several distinct cognitive processes have to cooperate. Information is first learned and then stored. Later, when we want to remember them, we depend on a properly functioning retrieval process.

If all these various memory processes are controlled by the same or by different genes and molecular mechanisms has so far been mostly unknown. One reason for this, is the fact that many of these processes are not amenable to direct measurement and have therefore remained inaccessible for science.

Researchers at the University of Basel succeeded at describing distinct memory processes, such as learning, remembering and forgetting using a computational model. Image credit: MCN University of Basel.

Researchers at the University of Basel succeeded at describing distinct memory processes, such as learning, remembering and forgetting using a computational model. Image credit: MCN University of Basel.

A Mathematical Model for Memory

Pedro Vieira at the Perimeter Institute

Today’s news are nice indeed for a Portuguese such as me with a persistent enthusiasm for Science, and Physics in particular. I must say that I didn’t know Pedro Vieira‘s work and career, but given his age and excellent achievements thus far, it isn’t difficult to predict a few more good surprises in the years to come.

Perimeter Faculty member Pedro Vieira

Perimeter Faculty member Pedro Vieira

Pedro Vieira’s field of study – Mathematical Physics – was one of my favourites while in College, where my grades were the best ones. So despite the fact of not have been this successful in my Research pursuits, Pedro’s example is and always will be a source of inspiration and in a way a form  of forcing me to look back and reconsider my path in the enthusiasm for Physics and Science. It is always a good time to re-evaluate what we do in Life, what we stand for, what are our preferences and decisions, why things happen in a way and not otherwise. Pedro’s example has made this effect on me today.

It’s been a big year for Perimeter’s Pedro Vieira. He recently won a Sloan Fellowship. Early career researchers who win Sloan Fellowships are widely viewed as people to keep an eye on, and with good reason: 42 of them have gone on to win Nobel Prizes. Now, Vieira’s been awarded the 2015 Gribov Medal, which honours outstanding work in theoretical particle physics or field theory by a physicist who is under 35 years old. The prestigious award is given once every two years by the European Physical Society. In other words, Vieira – who is just 32 – has now won a top award for young physicists on two continents. “We are delighted to see Pedro so widely recognized,” says Perimeter Faculty ChairRobert Myers. “He has a rare combination of mathematical talent and physical intuition, and he is doing remarkable work.” The European Physical Society cited Vieira “for his groundbreaking contributions to the determination of the exact spectrum of anomalous dimensions of N=4 supersymmetric Yang Mills theory and scattering amplitudes, for any interaction strength.”

PERIMETER FACULTY MEMBER WINS MAJOR INTERNATIONAL PRIZE

Photo Source: Perimeter Institute’s website

Mathematics, Magic and Scientific schorlarship

This is a re-post from both Quanta Magazine and Nature&Science Facebook page, my most popular which gives good feelings and makes me sometimes think about not diminish the impact, the cleverness and the knowledge of the Social Media crowd. Even if with a limited audience and without boosting the posts – for obvious cost reasons – there are rewards and real utility in a Social Media page, cause or campaign well executed and properly marketed.

” What happens when a magician who does card tricks becomes a Stanford math professor? Persi Diaconis has used his intuition about card shuffling to help decode messages passed between inmates at a California state prison and to analyze Bose-Einstein condensation. He and his students and colleagues have successfully analyzed just about every type of shuffle people use in ordinary life, except one: “smooshing.” Now he is on a quest to solve it, which could help scientists better understand fluid mixing. ”

Skip Sterling for Quanta Magazine

Skip Sterling for Quanta Magazine

” What happens when a magician who does card tricks becomes a Stanford math professor? Persi Diaconis has used his…Posted by Nature & Science on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

 Photo Source: Sip Sterling

Social Networks and Mental Health – foes or allies?

I will today return here for a post in this Blog that is a re-post from a page that I run in the Social Network Facebook. It is a community page that has been, of all the pages that I created the most successful, with more followers – 263 in total so far. The name of the page is Nature&Science, it is a community page and has this Blog page as the webpage of reference.

Here it is the point of dangers in Social Networks like Facebook. Without going into the details of the study, it is perhaps important to highlight that the problem is exposed in a manner that can be judged in way so as to always regard Social Networks as a mechanism to amplify the problems of the real lives behind the Media profile. So that is an obvious good thing to Social Networks in general, because it emphasises that the real problem isn’t the networks. It is something deeper than that, like the question of Social comparison. But to this vulnerability there is certainly differences between individuals, and we can make Digital Social Networks a tool to mitigate these problems -, by designing them in a way that don’t exacerbate or amplify the deep problems beneath the surface of a Social profile….

 The article that inspired this post was from the news site ScienceDaily titled:

Facebook use linked to depressive symptoms

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Here it is the point of dangers in Social Networks like Facebook. Without going into the details of the study, it is…

Posted by Nature & Science on Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Xerox PARC Forum: AI and Robotics at an Inflection Point

Self-Aware Systems

On September 18, 2014 Steve Omohundro gave the Xerox PARC Forum on “AI and Robotics at an Inflection Point”. Here’s a PDF file of the slides.

AI and Robotics at an Inflection Point
PARC Forum

18 September 2014
5:00-6:30pm (5:00-6:00 presentation and Q&A, followed by networking until 6:30)
George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC

description

Google, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Baidu, Foxconn, and others have recently made multi-billion dollar investments in artificial intelligence and robotics. Some of these investments are aimed at increasing productivity and enhancing coordination and cooperation. Others are aimed at creating strategic gains in competitive interactions. This is creating “arms races” in high-frequency trading, cyber warfare, drone warfare, stealth technology, surveillance systems, and missile warfare. Recently, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and others have issued strong cautionary statements about the safety of intelligent technologies. We describe the potentially antisocial “rational drives” of self-preservation, resource acquisition, replication, and self-improvement that…

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