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RESEARCH

 

 

WELCOME:

 

The purpose of this homepage is to gauge the interest on the UWM campus for starting up a collaborative research program.  If we are successful, we will join a growing number of universities around the world in an effort to manage the proliferation of knowledge and information.

 

Our ultimate dream is to build one of the most advanced collaborative research facilities in the country on our campus - one that would serve all of UWM's personnel in all disciplines and sub-disciplines.

 

This homepage is just the beginning.  Over the next few months we will engage in a full-campus discussion of the directions that this program should take.  Our first inclination is to develop a blog and/or wiki or a number of blogs and/or wikis  that are directly connected to each of the topics above.  By accessing one of the blogs and/or wikis we would then be able to engage in synchronic/asynchronic dialogue leading to the development of the program at UWM.

 

For now however, click on the topics above to get a brief introduction to our effort.  Then click on the CONTACTS topic and give us your feedback; anything from the design of the homepage to well . . . whatever . . .

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

"The integration of ideas and methods from many disciplines into the study of complex systems has, in recent years, generated excitement within the scientific community as well as in the general public.  The conceptual shift from reductionist strategies of integrative cross disciplinary and unified descriptions has had profound impacts on our understanding of environmental, social, economic, medical, biological, . . . physical (and many other) aspects of our world." 1

 

The purposes of this topic are:

  1. To define what complex systems mean in general (autopoiesis, complex adaptive systems, complex social systems, chaos systems, evolutionary and creative evolutionary systems, dissipative structures, modeling and computer simulations, etc.) and

  2. To develop a concept of complex systems for UWM.

In the future, this point would lead to a blog and/or wiki, where discussion would take place.

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COLLABORATION AND PARTICIPATION:

 

A true understanding of complex systems cannot be had without collaboration and participation.  This area could be used to develop both collaboration among UWM personnel across disciplines.  For the time being, we use the classic divisions of disciplines as our definition and that includes the natural and social sciences, the arts and humanities as well as in religious studies.

 

To make this a holistic effort, we envision strong participation in many of our endeavors with the community surrounding UWM.

 

In the future, this point would lead to a blog and/or wiki, where discussion would take place.

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DIVERSITY:

 

UWM is an urban university, and as an urban university, the inclusion of diversity is an unquestioned necessity.

 

In the future, this point would lead to a blog and/or wiki, where discussion would take place.

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THEORY & RESEARCH:

 

One of the main reasons for initiating this effort is to develop and carry out both theory-making and research along the lines of the complex systems concept.  It is hoped that we will get faculty and staff from differencing disciplines and sub-disciplines to use this area to help develop such theory and research.

 

In the future, this point would lead to a blog and/or wiki, where discussion would take place.

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EDUCATION:

 

While many of us are familiar with the concepts and possibilities of complex systems, there are many who are interested but are not yet familiar enough that there will be a need to develop a curricula, of sorts, to help advance our efforts.

 

In the future, this point would lead to a blog and/or wiki, where discussion would take place.

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SYNTHESIS, CONSILIEATION, & TRANS-DISCIPLINARITY:

 

One of the major thoughts behind complex systems theory is that we can no longer deal with the world as if it could be explained through one discipline.  Consequently, there is a great deal of discussion today along the lines of synthesis, consileation, and trans-disciplinarity. 

 

However, since this effort is relatively new, it is necessary that we create a dialogue as to what concepts like these mean to us.

 

In the future, this point would lead to a blog and/or wiki, where discussion would take place.

 

CONSILIENCE:

  1. Coined by William Whewell in Inductive Sciences.

  2. Expanded upon by Edward O. Wilson in his book, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge.

  3. WIKIPEDIA DEFINITION: "Consilience, or the unity of knowledge (literally a "jumping together" of knowledge), has its roots in the ancient Greek concept of an intrinsic orderliness that governs our cosmos, inherently comprehensible by logical process, a vision at odds with mystical views in many cultures that surrounded the Hellenes. The rational view was recovered during the high Middle Ages, separated from theology during the Renaissance and found its apogee in the Age of Enlightenment. Then, with the rise of the modern sciences, the sense of unity gradually was lost in the increasing fragmentation and specialization of knowledge in the last two centuries. The converse of consilience is Reductionism." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consilience

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RESOURCES:

 

If you search the web you will discover that there are virtually thousands of references made to complex systems.  However, many of these may hold no relevancy at all to our efforts.  This section will be used to weed out and identify usable sites.

 

Here are a few examples:

 

  1. The Santa Fe Institute

  2. The Complex Adaptive Systems Laboratory (CASL) at the University of Cincinnati

  3. The Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSCS) at the University of Michigan, and

  4. The Center for Complex Systems Research (CCSR) at the University of Illinois - UC.

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CONTACTS:

 

  1. Josef Stagg, PhD

  2.  

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REFERENCES:

1. Bar-Yam, Yaneer. (ed). (1997). Unifying Themes in Complex Systems: Proceedings of the International Conference on Complex Systems. Cambridge, MA.: Perseus Books. Q295.I5763x.

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