CSSS 2008 Santa Fe-Tutorials
From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki
Open Source research software
Open (no pun intended...) your eyes to the wonderful world of FOSS -- Free and Open Source Software. While the distinction between Free and Open Source is a very interesting one (and highly contentious in the right crowds), for research purposes, we want to use the best tools for the job but some of us suffer from limited income, so I would like to talk about both. At the same time, FOSS is great to use for a non-economic reason: if you find bugs, or design extensions, you can fix them yourself (in OSS, at least) or at least report the problem back to a typically active community. Some potential tools to discuss/explore: R, Octave, Scilab, Gnuplot, perhaps some of the more useful languages in the field like Python and perhaps others I don't know as much about (a quick `apt-cache` on my Ubuntu Hardy install shows RasMol, ClustalW, SeaView, Achilles, complearn, EMBOSS, GENESIS, etc...)
I (Ruben) know a little bit about R (basic stuff such as common plots and regression analysis) but would like to enhance my R skills. Does anybody have an interest in a R tutorial, too? Please edit this if there is more interest.
Would be interested in learning about this as well. -Devin
I've (also Ruben) interest in a Python tutorial. Please edit this if there is more interest.
I can give a tutorial on python and on scipy/numpy, its great scientific library Giovanni
Neutral models in biology
There is an interesting paper by Cosma Shalizi of SFI about methodological problems in social sciences research in which he talks about the concept of neutral models in evolution models. I was wondering if any of the bio-people can give a tutorial on this topic as I am pretty interested in understanding the concept. Giovanni
I (Flavia) could offer an introduction to GIS/Spatial Analysis. Please edit here if you are interested. Flávia
Statistical Physics for Non-Physicists
Problem: Textbooks about this are writen for physicists. Solution: A Physicist (or mathematician) that would be so kind and spend few minutes (or maybe hours) to explain all that stuff to people like me(Petr):-)
Ruben: Do you seek for a general introduction or something specific?
A crash course in Statistical Physics would be awesome. Let us know. — Carlos
I am interested too. (Soumya)
Modern Logic and Reasoning
Like I mentioned in the 'ice-breaking', I could tell something about application of modern logic into human reasoning. It's a very board topic, and very new. Criticisms are welcome and needed. I would give some basic examples. On top of that, I would also say some development of logic, and how I found it useful in research, which might seem un-related to logic, esp. in social science. I am planning to give a 15 to 20 minutes presentation, UNLESS people want to hear more, in that case, please let me know. QiQi
Introduction to the Design and Analysis of Computer Experiments
How do you find "interesting" behavior when your computer model is too slow or the inputs are too many to try every possible combination? Using an Arctic sea ice simulator example, I will show you how modern statistical methods can help you explore your virtual world more efficiently. Check out this brief overview or a more technical paper about global optimization. Time permitting we could also touch on some of the statistical concepts involved, e.g. cross-validation, maximum likelihood estimation, or Bayesian statistics. Béla
Genomics / Central dogma overview
It seems like some of you might be interested in an overview of the central dogma of molecular biology to non-biologists. This could be an 1h tutorial on the major actors of gene expression: nucleus, chromosomes, chromatine, DNA, RNA (tRNA, mRNA), proteins, polymerases, ribosomes, transcription factors, and eventually a quick intro to small, non-coding RNAs as a bonus. Although being a bioinformatician by training, I'm happy to leave the way if a "hard core" biologist wants to do this tutorial (Molly ?). Edit if interested! Jean
I'd be happy to attend a tutorial in 'genomics for idiots' -- Laura
Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
I (Nish) could introduce some of the basic methods in AI/ML. If there is significant interest in the two fields separately, I could do two tutorials. Would probably focus on the higher level, rather than the nitty-gritty details, as well as applications of the methods to real problems. I'm not necessarily an expert, although have a fair amount of experience in the area, so I would prefer a more interactive session, where questions can be answered by everyone.
Sign me up. — Carlos
A Crash Course to Classical and Evolutionary Game Theory
Game theory is the study of interactive decision making. Classical game theory aims to develop a general theory to describe how rational agents interact strategically. In many cases humans lack the kind of infinite computational power and time assumed by classical game theory. In the early 1970s the biologist John Maynard Smith introduced evolutionary methods to the field, dispensing with the assumption of hyper-rationality while changing many of the concepts central to the field along the way. The result was evolutionary game theory. This new framework has been used to model the behavior of fundamentally non-rational players (such as viruses) as well as humans.
In this tutorial, I'd try to introduce the basic concepts in both of these fields, namely, the definition of a game, payoffs, the Nash equilibirum and evolutionarily stable strategies, the replicator dynamics. I'll briefly mention the three basic classes of two-strategy games represented by the Prisoner's Dilemma, the Snowdrift Game (sometimes called the Hawk-Dove game or Chicken), and the Stag Hunt Game. Depending on particular interests of the group, we could prove the Bishop-Cannings theorem and give a classification of all symmetric two-strategy games; or look at updating methods and spatial chaos; reputation and image scoring; rock-paper-scissors in biological systems; or evolutionary branching and specialization.
If there's something else you'd like to know about EGT, shoot me (Josh) an email, and I'll see if I can dig up something I know on your topic. I'm not going to require any fancy mathematical background. If you've seen a 2×2 matrix before, great. Otherwise, it's not a big deal. We won't multiply them or calculate their eigenvalues. They'll just serve as a means for bookkeeping.
Update! Some of us are also thinking about setting up a working group as well.
- I'll sign up for this. Kolbjørn
- I'm interested too! (Flavia)
The resilience perspective is increasingly used as an approach for understanding the dynamics of social–ecological systems. Essential for the resilience perspective is the recognition that living systems are not in equilibrium but rather in a domain of attraction. Many dynamic systems, however, have multiple domains of attraction. Moreover, self-organizing processes can create or change the shape and depth of this domain of attraction. Within the resilience perspective, new pathways of sustainable development can be represented by crossing a threshold from a domain of attraction and/or by creating new domains. Resilience is a measure of how much change or disruption is required to transform a system from being maintained by one set of mutually reinforcing processes and structures to a different set of processes and structures. If you are interested we (Mike and Dirk) can introduce you to some of the insights developed by the resiliance alliance and the challenges we face in understanding these kind of systems.
I am interested in this too. Richard
Introduction to classical control theory
I (Srideep) can offer a 'quick' tutorial on control theory/control systems. This is will be a simple introduction to the motivation, basic ideas, issues and jargon in the field. If you are interested, please let me know about your background in linear algebra, complex analysis and calculus. Depending on the background, I might spend more or less time introducing the field.
Ideally, if you know what eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix are, what a pole of a complex function is and how the solution of a linear differential equation looks like, you are ready to jump right into controls. If the words above don't mean much at all, then we can run a quick 'review' of what they mean intuitively. you can sign up here or send me an email srideep
I (Laura) would be very interested in this tutorial. I think I'm basically OK on the prerequisites, but I wouldn't be annoyed by a review. Perhaps Monday?
I (Srideep) will also be happy to talk about topology, introducing the concepts of point-set topology. The language of modern mathematics is enshrined in the concepts of point-set topology. I can also talk about group theory and introduce abstract algebra to those interested. In my opinion, it is the most powerful gateway into abstract thinking. sign here or email me srideep
Eigenvalues - what are they and how to find them?
I (Kolbjørn) can put together a brief and elementary introduction to eigenvalues and eigenvectors if anyone have an urge for this. Sign up or e-mail and we'll schedule something. Kolbjørn