emergence_snapYou might remember a post I did back in January from Cambridge (the one in England), mentioning what I was up to on that quick trip.

It was a board meeting of the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter (ICAM), and I said, among other things:

ICAM has a great deal of interest in outreach -communicating science to the general public- and education, and this is one of the reasons I’ve been added to the board, since I’ve some experience and ideas to share in an advisory role. I’ll be giving a talk about some of these things using some projects of mine as examples (ASTI, blogging, etc). They’ve already been doing wonderful things in education and outreach, and have made it a priority to make it a major part of future activity. […]

I mentioned that one of the projects under development was their site called Emergent Universe, which promised to be rather fantastic to explore. It was under development at the time, and we (the board) spent some time at the meeting commenting on and making suggestions for its improvement. Well, it is finished, and boy it looks great! Suzi Tucker and her team should be immensely proud of their accomplishment.

There’s so much material there, beautifully presented (a still taken from it is displayed above left), and I think you can have a great time exploring it. For a start, you’ll learn about the many examples of “emergent phenomena” in many aspects of everyday life. It is an important aspect of complex systems that is in and of itself interesting and crucial to come to grips with in order to understand key aspects of things as diverse as global climate change, financial systems and amyloid fibril diseases (like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s). There are various portals to discussions you can join, music to listen to, and all sorts of graphics to interact with. Please spend some time looking at it, share it with your friends, and definitely pass it on to educators who might be able to use aspects of it in their teaching. (And of course use it yourself to teach yourself, your peers, and others.)

This is just a portion of what ICAM will be doing in terms of education and outreach, so keep your eyes open for more.



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