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Lectures and Seminars

2016 - 2017 Helen & Lee Gorsuch Lecture



Dr. Lael Parrott is a Professor in Sustainability at The University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada.  She is Director of the Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services (BRAES) and leader of the Complex Environmental Systems Laboratory.  Prior to joining UBC she was an Associate Professor in Environmental Geography and Director of the Complex Systems Laboratory at Université de Montréal (2001-2012).  She holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering from McGill University.  Dr. Parrott is also an associate editor of the journals Ecological Complexity, Ecological Informatics, and PeerJ.


2014 - 2015 Seminar Series

Dr. Paul Kockelman
Dr. Paul Kockelman, professor of Linguistic Anthropology at Yale University, earned his M.S. in Physics and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.  Dr. Kockelman is working on a range of topics, including affect, grammatical categories, parasites, spam filters, infrastructure, time, value, and poultry husbandry.  He is working on the relation between computation and interpretation, focusing on the interaction of sieving and serendipity.  He is the author of Agent, Person, Subject Self: A Theory on Ontology, Interaction and Infrastructure, and Language, Culture, and Mind: Natural Constructions and Social Kinds.  One of his most recent publications offers useful advice about how to survive your first night in Minecraft.

Dr. Raissa D'Souza

Dr. Raissa D'Souza, is Professor of Computer Science and of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Davis, and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.  She received a Ph.D. in Statistical Physics from MIT in 1999, and was a post doctoral fellow in Fundamental Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Bell Laboratories, and in the Theory Group at Microsoft Research.  Dr. D'Souza is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems.  Her interdisciplinary work on network theory spans the fields of statistical physics, theoretical computer science and applied math.

Daniel Kammen

Dr. Daniel Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, with appointments in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the department of Nuclear Engineering.  He is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), co-director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment, and director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center.  Dr. Kammen has served as a contributing or coordinating lead author on various reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1999.  The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.  Dr. Kammen was educated in physics at Cornell and Harvard, and held postdoctoral positions at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard.

Dr. Steven Shladover

Dr. Steven Shladover has been researching road vehicle automation systems for forty years, beginning with his masters and doctoral theses at M.I.T.  He is the Program Manager, Mobility at the California PATH Program of the Institute of Transportation Studies of the University of California at Berkeley.  He led PATH's pioneering research on automated highway systems, and has continued research on fully and partially automated vehicle systems since then.  His target applications have included cooperative adaptive cruise control, automated truck platoons, automated buses and fully-automated vehicles in an automated highway system.

2013 - 2014 Seminar Series

David Krakauer

Dr. David Krakauer is the director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and co-director of the Center for Com­plex Systems and Collective Computa­tion at University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary theory from Oxford University.  Dr. Krakauer’s research focuses on the evolutionary his­tory of information processing in biology and culture, including genetic, neural, linguistic and cultural mechanisms.  The research spans multiple levels of organization, seeking analogous patterns and principles in genetics, cell biology, microbiology and in organismal behavior and society.

Mark Brown

Dr. Mark Brown is a professor of Environmental Engineering Sciences and director of the Center for Environmental Policy at the University of Florida.  His research is focused on the interface of humanity and the environment including systems ecology, ecological engineering, ecological economics, and environmental policy.  For six years Dr. Brown was a consulting ecologist to The Cousteau Society, working with research teams to develop solutions to a wide array of resource management problems that affect marine resources throughout the world.

Jennifer Dunne

Dr. Jennifer Dunne’s research is in analysis, modeling, and theory of organization, dynamics, and function of complex species interactions.  Much of this work focuses the basic architecture for the flow of energy and resources in ecosystems that play a central role in ecological and evolutionary dynamics, and seeking to identify fundamental patterns and principles of ecological network structure.  She is extending the scope and impact of this research with interdisciplinary collaborations in archaeology, art, computer science, economics, evolutionary theory, microbiology, paleobiology, parasitology, physics, and social science.  She received a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley, held a NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biological Informatics, and has been on faculty of the Santa Fe Institute since 2007.

2012 - 2013 Lecture Series


Matthew Dickerson

Matthew Dickerson has a Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell University. He is a professor of computer science at Middlebury College in Vermont where he is also a member of the program of environmental studies. His areas of research interest include geometric, geographic, and spatial computation as well as multi-agent simulation and computer modeling.


Hod Lipson


Dr. Hod Lipson is the director of Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab at the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. His work focuses on evolutionary robotics and creating machines that can demonstrate some aspects of human creativity.   


Dr. Scott Ortman

Dr. Scott Ortman is currently an Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute and a Lightfoot Fellow at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.  He received his doctorate in Anthropology in 2010 from Arizona State University, with his dissertation winning the 2011 “Outstanding Dissertation” award from the Society for American Archaeology.  His special interest areas include agent-based modeling of social and natural systems, and coupled human-natural systems in the American Southwest.

2011 - 2012 Lecture Series

Michael Macy

Dr. Michael Macy is Goldwin Smith Professor of Sociology at Cornell University.  He is also a member of the faculty of Computing and Information Science, and Director of their Social Dynamics Laboratory.  His education includes a BA in Government (Harvard University) a MA in Education (Stanford University), and a Ph.D. in Sociology (Harvard University).  He is on leave this year, serving as a Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies (CASBS) at Stanford. 

Melanie Mitchell

Melanie Mitchell is Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University, and External Professor and Member of the Science Board at the Santa Fe Institute. She is the author or editor of five books and over 70 scholarly papers in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and complex systems. Her most recent book, Complexity: A Guided Tour (Oxford, 2009), is the winner of the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Science Book Award, and was named by as one of the ten best science books of 2009.


Melanie Big Sur 2010

Dr. Moses is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico, with a joint appointment to the Department of Biology.  She concentrates on scaling properties of biological, social, and information networks, and the general rules governing the acquisition and efficiency of energy and information exchanges in complex adaptive systems.