Leverhulme Bridges Programme Weekly Colloquium
Spring Term Week 2, Tues 19 January 2 – 3pm Wolfson Research Ex. Rm 3
Prof. Matthew Turner, Centre for Complexity Science
Abstract: Collective behaviour, in which agents coordinate their activity, is ubiquitous across all societies. We don’t yet fully understand how human societies coordinate or even how human crowds move. However, a general principle in science is that one should first seek to understand a simple (the most simple) system exhibiting the behaviour that is of interest and then, using any insights gained, work up to understand more complex examples. Our work is mostly concerned with simple examples of collective behaviour from the animal kingdom. Here one observes flocking birds, shoaling fish and swarming insects. What are these systems trying to “compute”, why are they trying to do it and how to they coordinate this behaviour? To what extent do these systems represent intelligent collectives with computational potential above and beyond that of the individuals concerned?