on December 2, 2018
Published on June 29, 2021 Updated on February 8, 2022

Thematic Cycle on Complexity: Closing Seminar


Thematic Cycle on Complexity: Closing Seminar

02.12.2019 - 02.12.2019

The closing seminar of the Thematic Cycle on Complexity, https://iea.u-cergy.fr/fr/manifestations-scientistiques/cycles-thematiques/semestre-thematique.html, will take place on Monday 2 December to conclude a year of activities supported by the LABEX MME-DII, around the study of complex systems coming from different disciplinary fields.

This event, which will take place at the Maison Internationale de la Recherche, of the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Cergy-Pontoise, will begin at 12.30 p.m. with a lunch to which participants are invited (registration free but compulsory here) deadline 11/28, and it is aimed at a broad interdisciplinary audience of researchers and advanced students.

On this occasion we will receive two speakers, who address the issue of cognition (individual and social) at two very different scales:

1. Vittorio Loreto ,

SONY Computer Science Laboratories, Paris,France; Sapienza University of Rome, Physics Dept., Rome, Italy;
Complexity Science Hub Vienna, Vienna, Austria


Exploring the adjacent possible: play, anticipation, surprise 

Novelties frequently occur in our individual daily lives. We meet new people, learn and use new words, listen to new songs, watch a new movie, adopt new technology. Such unique experiences sometimes happen by chance. Often they are triggered by earlier new experiences, thus providing a compelling correlation between their appearances.

Historically the notion of the "new" has always offered challenges to humankind. What is new often defies the natural tendency of humans to predict and control future events. Still, we base most of our decisions on our expectations about the future. From this perspective, a deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms through which novelties emerge and humans anticipate their occurrence is key to progress in all sectors of human activities. The common intuition that one new thing often leads to another is captured, mathematically, by the notion of "adjacent possible". The adjacent possible is the set of all those things (ideas, linguistic structures, concepts, molecules, genomes, technological artifacts, etc.) that are one step away from what exists, and hence can arise from incremental modifications and recombination of existing material.

In this talk, I'll present a mathematical framework describing the expansion of the adjacent possible, whose predictions are borne out in several data sets drawn from social and technological systems.

2.  Boris Gutkin ,  

Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives et computationnelles,  Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France.


Modelling the Role of Neural Oscillatory Activity in Working Memory.

Cognitive effort  such as remembering information in the short-term that is used to perform tasks (working memory) leads to a seeming cacophony of brain oscillations. During experimental tasks engaging working memory (WM), data show that specific oscillatory frequency bands of brain activity modulate in space and time. Despite ample data correlating such modulation to task performance, a mechanistic explanation remains elusive. To start deciphering this
connection we built and analysed a reduced model of the sustained neural activity that implements WM. Based on our model we propose that flexible control of neural oscillations provides a unified mechanism for the rapid and controlled transitions between the computational operations required by WM. The various frequency bands determine the dynamic gating regimes enabling the necessary operations for WM, whose
succession explains the need for the complex oscillatory brain dynamics during effortful cognition.

Thematic Cycle "Complexity"

A cycle of advanced courses, conferences and seminars on interaction modeling and their applications

Organized jointly with the labex MME-DII and the Foundation for Modeling in Economics.labex


  • Laura Hernandez - LPTM
  • Marius Ochea - THEMA
  • Alessandro Torcini - LPTM

The Thematic Cycle on Complexity aims to bring together UCP researchers who, each in their own disciplinary field, are faced with the study of problems relating to complex systems, is of particular importance in particular in relation to the ISITE project, recently obtained by UCP, which focuses on Complexity.

In a fairly general way, we agree that complex systems include a large number of constituents which interact in a non-linear fashion, and present self-organization phenomena which are manifested at different scales. So, the problems linked to complexity are transversal to disciplines and more and more interdisciplinary institutes are being created around the world to work to improve our understanding of the structure and dynamics of these systems [1].

Our university has different teams, each working in its own field, on systems with these characteristics. To cite only a few examples, we can mention the study of phase transitions, the one on turbulence, or even synchronization phenomena, in Physics; market modeling (financial, import-export, centralized-decentralized), or research on risk management, in economics; the study of opinion formation and the interaction between new online media and social events taking place in the field, in Social Sciences; research on urban dynamics and transport networks, the emergence of centralities within peri-urban territories, in Geography; research on host-pathogenic interactions, the interaction of complex molecular assemblies or studies of biomaterials, in Biology; the multi-scale approach to the deformation and weathering of rocks, in Geology; multimedia data indexing and data integration or neurocybernetics, Computer science, among many others.

This thematic cycle, which will begin on January 30, 2018, with a guest seminar by Professor Roberto Livi, former holder of the International Research Chair of the IEA 2011, includes activities of different types:

  • Interdisciplinary courses:  they focus on the methods and tools essential to the study of complex systems, and are aimed at an interdisciplinary audience.
  • Specific courses: these mini-courses offer a presentation of a specific problem in a given discipline.
  • Interdisciplinary conference: "Transversal problems on Complexity"

  bringing together keynote speakers, international specialists in various cross-cutting issues with complex systems, and presentations by local actors. Expected in May 2018

  • Preparatory workshop for setting up an ITN-EJD project, on Extreme Dynamics on Networks, to be presented in 2019. Scheduled for May 2018
  • Specific conference: “New Insights in Complex Neural Dynamics”, June 2018
  • Periodic seminars and mini-conferences: Throughout the year, with a bimonthly frequency, we will either offer a seminar, given by a guest, recognized expert in his field, presenting in an accessible way to an interdisciplinary audience a specific issue relating to the Complexity, i.e. a mini-conference bringing together several experts, for a more in-depth discussion of the chosen theme.
Inaugural seminar of the thematic cycle on Complexity

Seminar of Professor Roberto Livi, Universita' di Firenze (Italy)

30.01.2018 - 30.01.2018

During this inaugural seminar, Professor Roberto Livi will present his most recent results on neuromorphic circuits.

Professor Roberto Livi is a leading expert in complex systems, who has worked in field as different as statistical mechanics, nonlinear dynamics and biological modeling. In the last year his research has been mainly devoted to neural network dynamics and heat transport. Recently he has written a book on "Nonequilibrium statistical physics" with Paolo Politi. In 2011, he held the International Visiting Chair at the IAS.

In his inaugural seminar, Professor Roberto Livi will present his most recent results on neuromorphic circuits. The talk wil have a general introduction suited
for scientists working in complex systems, as well as for PhD students and Master students at their last year of study.

Date : Tuesday January 30th, from 1:30pm to 3pm. 
Location : Maison internationale de la recherche, Neuville-sur-Oise. Plan d'accès

Title of the contribution: "Complex dynamics in neuromorphic circuits"

Abstract Neural population made of inhibitory and excitatory units exhibit complex collective dynamics when they are organized according to suitable circuits. In particular, amplification and synchronization mechanisms may emerge as purely noise driven effects: These results disclose new perspectives in the design of neuromorphic circuits performing specific tasks, like, signal categorization and detection.

Advanced courses of the "complexity" thematic cycle


These courses on the theme of complexity are open to all and will start in January

1 - Complex Networks, theory and applications

Information et inscription : http://www.adum.fr/script/formations.pl?mod=160268&site=IED
Laura Hernandez : laura.hernandez@u-cergy.fr

2 - Introduction to the chaotic systems 

Information et inscription : http://www.adum.fr/script/formations.pl?mod=161170&site=IED
Alessandro Torcini : alessandro.torcini@u-cergy.fr

3 - Introduction to information theory ans its applications

Information et inscription : http://www.adum.fr/script/formations.pl?mod=161586&site=IED
Floria Koukiou : floria.koukiou@u-cergy.fr

Synchronization and Transport in Complex Systems


March 26th, 2018 - Maison de la Recherche , Neuville-sur-Oise

The LABEX MME DII and the Institute for Advanced Studies of the University of Cergy-Pontoise promote one day meeting on collective phenomena emerging in complex systems within the activity of the Thematic Cycle on Complexity "2018"

The meeting will address subjects in areas ranging from statistical physics to biology, from applied mathematics to computational neuroscience. In particular, the speakers will present specific talks on active matter (e.g. on cell migration and on dynamics of bacterial suspensions), as well as on neural systems (on seizure propagation in the brain and on synchronization of neural networks) and on transport in oscillator chains and in random graphs. The presentation of the subjects will allow participants from different disciplines to profit of the proposed talks.

For registration and more details see

Transversal problems in Complexity

23.05.2018 - 24.05.2018

Conference organized by Laura Hernandez from the LPTM laboratory and Marius Ochea from the THEMA laboratory, on May 23 & 24, 2018 at the MIR in Neuville-sur-Oise

The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for discussion on issues, practices and tools - methodological, mathematical and numerical - in relation to the study of complex systems. This is a deliberately interdisciplinary meeting, open to researchers interested in complexity whatever their field of research.

Young researchers and students from the M2 level are welcome, they will find a fairly broad panorama of research in relation to complexity, and will have the opportunity to meet major players in the field both nationally and internationally. .

Organizers: Laura Hernandez and Marius Ochea

Information and registration

International House of Research, Neuville-sur-Oise: Access Plan

Congrès InSpire – New Insights on Complex Neural Dynamics

06.06.2018 - 08.06.2018

The LABEX MME DII and the Institute for Advanced Studies of the University of Cergy-Pontoise within the activity of the Thematic Cycle on "Complexity 2018" promote an international conference on neuroscience from June 6th to June 8th, 2018 entitled:

InSpire -- New Insights on Complex Neural Dynamics

The LABEX MME DII and the Institute for Advanced Studies of the University of Cergy-Pontoise within the activity of the Thematic Cycle on Complexity "2018" promote an international conference on neuroscience from June 6th to June 8th, 2018 entitled:

InSpire -- New Insights on Complex Neural Dynamics

to be held at the Maison Internationale de la Recherche (Neuville-sur-Oise).

This workshop  will represent an opportunity to bring together views from experimental and computational neuroscientists as well as experts in the dynamics of complex systems.

A common aim is to improve the knowledge of the mechanisms underlying neural activity in the brain.

The meeting will be open and free of charge only for the PhD students and researchers affiliated with the University of Cergy-Pontoise and/or with LABEX MME DII, however registration is mandatory within May, 27th, 2018.

Please, register using this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1akpamPLmEvd-Xcu_HU3SeOYKrHY2n39xN8MHnG_opAs/edit

More information here: https://inspire2018parisseine.wordpress.com/

International House of Research, Neuville-sur-Oise: How to come