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July 27, 2008

Announcement: BC Net Workshop

Tis the season for networks workshops, it seems. Here's another announcement I recently received, this time for a workshop in Barcelona. Although the keynote-speaker lineup looks pretty good, and the organizers have done a lot of interesting work over the years, I will probably have to skip this event as I'm running a workshop on Networks and Inference at SFI only a few days before. If any of my dear readers go, I'd love to get a summary afterward.

BC Net Workshop: Trends and perspectives in complex networks

December 10-12, 2008 at the Physics Department, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Organizers: Marian Boguñà (U. Barcelona), Albert Díaz-Guilera (U. Barcelona) Romualdo Pastor-Satorras (U. Politècnica de Catalunya), and M. Àngels Serrano (IFISC).

Description: Ten years have elapsed since the publication of the celebrated paper by Watts and Strogatz on small-world networks. During this decade, the development of foundational aspects and methodologies set the grounds of complex network science, an interdisciplinary research area connecting Statistical Physics, Biology, Information Technology, Sociology, Economy, and others. Time has come to ask what have been the major contributions of this emerging field to prospect its future in perspective. We believe network science is now mature enough to start developing problem-solving ability and engineering and predictive power.

The spirit of this workshop is to stimulate researchers in complex networks and related areas to find new perspectives, trends, and applications that guarantee this headway. To this end, internationally recognized specialists will be invited to explain their current investigations and to discuss the expected progress of their research within the context of the field. The workshop will present as well selected contributions compliant with its purpose. An open colloquium session will also be organized where keynote speakers, participants, and committee members will have the opportunity to debate all together on the present situation of complex networks science and its outlook.

posted July 27, 2008 03:55 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink


I might be there. I definitely want to go, but I haven't officially committed yet. The fact that it's in Barcelona definitely helps, as that's a city I really want to visit. There will almost certainly be a large Oxford contingent whether or not I am part of it. We actually won the prize for largest horde at NetSci 08. (The host institution isn't allowed to win, and I think we had more attendees than they did anyway.)

Posted by: Mason at August 29, 2008 04:21 PM

You'll have to let me know how it goes. (And, you'll have to tell me what you thought of NetSci08, too. I had to miss that one mainly because it was right before my trip to Beijing to teach in the summer school there.)

Posted by: Aaron at August 29, 2008 09:42 PM

Another conference worth noting is the next SunBelt conference on social networks (in March in San Diego): http://www.insna.org/sunbelt/

If people from our side of things are going to make headway among the social scientists and not just among ourselves, we have to go to their conferences. (And now I'm sure I can see a collective shudder from that community.)

I'll let you know about Barcelona, although if my talk (on the Facebook networks) isn't accepted, I probably won't be able to justify the trip even though I really want to visit the city. My travel money is sufficiently limited at the moment that I can't really afford to attend a non-local conference at which I am not presenting.

NetSci 08 was great! I hadn't actually gone to any of the previous ones. There were a lot of good talks (and some bad ones too, but se la vie... I needed to have some time to catch up with my work e-mails). Two very encouraging signs I saw is that more people FINALLY seem to be moving away from power-law fetishism and that there was a lot more interaction between the physics/cs/math crowd and the social scientists than I realized was going on. (I don't know if my perception that such genuine interaction is still very new is correct, but what I saw was definitely more than I was thinking.) I also met some people who I wanted to meet and acquired an extremely awesome data set that I hope to find the time to start analyzing very soon...

In terms of specific talks, I can give more details if you want. Some of the ones I enjoyed the most were given by the social scientists, though many of the usual suspects also did their usual high-quality job.

Posted by: Mason at September 6, 2008 06:13 AM

I've yet to attend a SunBelt conference, but it's probably time I start thinking about it...

Glad to hear NetSci08 was good, and I'm especially glad to hear the obsession with power laws might be fading a bit. I think NetSci07 was a lot better than NetSci06, so maybe this trend of improvement will continue. If there were talks that really stood out, I'd love to hear about them, if only to stay current on things.

Posted by: Aaron at September 8, 2008 08:03 AM

Among the 1-hour plenary talks, those by Brian Uzzi and Nicholas Christakis really stood out. (Actually, I will be working with Brian to study a great data set. You can drop me a private line if you're interested in being involved on that project.) Mark did his usual excellent job in his talk on transportation networks, though I had pretty much seen the whole story before. (I was hoping he'd talk about the Nature article.) Reinhardt gave a really nice contributed talk on community detection. (He was looking at situations with, say, certain types of off-diagonal structure.)

There were a couple of talks that stood out negatively, but I won't mention any names there. :)

The next SunBelt conference is in San Diego, so not too far for you. Right now I think I will go because it's close enough to my original home (Los Angeles) and leads into my spring break (though I would have to skip a few days of the term to actually attend the conference) that it would double up for a perfect chance to visit home. However, I am having a bit of an internal debate about whether I should go to the March Meeting. I basically need to choose between those two.

Alright, I need to stop procrastinating and keep eating the 1000+ pages of Masters dissertations I need to be grading in the next 10 days... (I'm sure this makes you eager to stop being a postdoc and start having lots of teaching and service duties. :) )

Posted by: Mason at September 8, 2008 11:33 AM