Alvis HT Tang

Imagine there is a cave inhabited by prisoners who have been chained since childhood. Behind the prisoners a fire casts a shadow of the surrounding including themselves onto a wall in front of them. However, they are not aware that the image on the wall is just a projection of their world. What the prisoners see is a projection of their world on the wall. The real world is, however, not seen by them. The prisoners cannot move nor turn their head around to see outside the cave. They can never see those people or the things causing the shadows in real, but the projection of these objects. The shadow is thus regarded as the reality of the surrounding since they never see the real objects. Now a lucky prisoner is set free. He can walk and explore the real world around. He soon discovers that the shadow he saw only displays a rough projection of a single aspect of the surrounding. The real world is much richer than he has imagined before. Life in this cave resembles some aspects of human reality. What we see are mere projections, but the actual reality is always hidden without our awareness. Alvis HT Tang is a practitioner of divergent and critical thinking, keen on pursuing intellectual discussion and linking knowledge to create new insights. He has an innately critical mind to find possible explanations for a phenomenon from unconventional angles. He is a lucky prisoner who is able to break the chain to contribute a better understanding of the actual world. Alvis at the moment is an explorer of nature at the Centre for Complexity Science and Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London, with Prof. Henrik Jensen as the safari guide for his PhD degree. His research focuses are firm dynamics, probability estimation, information flow in networks, evolution and emergence. In particular, the regularities of business patterns lead him to ponder the hidden mystery. Before joining the group, Alvis has substantial experience in the technology sector for years. He obtained a BSc Physics degree at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a MSc Applied Mathematics degree with Distinction at Imperial College London. Specialties: Firm Dynamics, Probability Estimation, Network Analysis, Parallel Computing, Web Technology, System Architecture Computer Languages: CUDA, C++, Node.js, Java Script, PHP, SQL, Mongo, BigQuery, .NET (C#, VB), Mathematica, MATLAB Research Keywords: firm dynamics dynamics non-equilibrium dynamics, evolutionary dynamics, econophysics, network stability, networks, complex systems, economic networks, self-organised criticality (SOC), criticality, percolation and universality. The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of every day thinking. Albert Einstein Recent Blogs Should I Believe My Conclusion? Confirmation bias is the most toxic psychological substance in modern science. It is not difficult to find a publication which has an eye-catching p-value but questionable conclusion. Researchers tend to publish as soon as possible whenever they get an indicator confirming their hypothesis or theory, forgetting there exists something called false positive. What is money? Money is really important to the economy, and us too. But what do we understand about money? Well, to the majority of people, money merely a store of wealth and more importantly a medium for trade. How much you’ve earned equals how much worth of the object you can obtain. But the reality is that it could be quite complicated when one consider the money supply, which contributes to inflation or deflation. Emergence of Insight Insight is a profound experience which frequently appears unconsciously in a very short moment like light flashes in our mind. It is always interesting to understand how these moments could help us to solve complicated...

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Chuan Wen Loe

Coffee… Chuan Wen Loe was a cryptographer for DSO National Laboratories after completing a bachelor degree in a Computer Science at Purdue University. His research interests are Discrete Mathematics and Complexities in Software System. He dislikes writing about himself and hopes this will be his last. Currently he is a PhD student in the Complexity & Networks Group at Imperial College...

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Duccio Piovani

Duccio has completed both a bachelor degree in Physics and a master degree in Theoretical Physics at Universita’ degli studi di Roma “La Sapienza” in Rome.  There he started studying  complex systems, working  for his master thesis with Irene Giardina and Andrea Cavagna on collective animal behaviour. At the moment he is  part of the Complex&Networks Group at Imperial College London, working on his Ph.D. with prof. H.J. Jensen on the CONGAS project  (http://www.congas-project.eu). His research is focused on studying the relation, in evolving networks, between stability and topology. This is done in the framework of the Tangled Nature Model, and sees its applications in the fields of evolutionary dynamics and financial...

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James Clough

James is a PhD student in the Complexity and Networks group at Imperial College London, supervised by Prof. Kim Christensen and Dr. Tim Evans. In 2013 he graduated with an MSci in Physics with Theoretical Physics from Imperial. His current research interests are directed and constrained social...

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Katharina Brinck

What is organising life? “It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order – and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order.” – Douglas R. Hofstadter While I never considered nature particularly eerie itself, the occurrence of chaos and order in it on a vast range of scales is intriguing. I am fascinated by the diversity and order of life, the variety of coexisting levels of complexity and the principles responsible for the assembly of living organisms into ecological networks of various configurations. My main research interests lie in the evolution of general characteristics of ecosystem structure and flow, their relation to persistence and functionality and the applicability of information theory to ecological networks to capture those emergent organisational properties. I use the Tangled Nature Model of evolutionary ecology, a complex systems model inspired by entangled ecosystem evolution, to study the evolution of ecosystems and their complexity. I am also interested in applying the Tangled Nature Model to other ecological questions and to relate information theory, thermodynamics and ecology in other contexts. Before starting my PhD at Imperial in October 2014 under the supervision of Prof. Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen, I did my undergrad in geography, biology and mathematics at LMU and TU Munich, Germany, followed by a master’s degree in ecology at Umeå University, Sweden. I have been studying information entropy in food webs as a visiting research student in the Harte Lab, UC Berkeley, limits on natural selection in the Bokma Lab, Umeå University, and tropical forest dynamics including carbon losses from tropical forest fragmentation at the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig,...

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