On Friday, March 13th at 7:30pm, Dr. Sarah Tolmie of UWaterloo’s Department of English will be a featured speaker in the Bridges Lecture Series, which “aims to overcome the gap between Mathematics and the Arts.” Dr. Tolmie’s talk is titled “Dancing the Math of Complex Systems”–read on to discover more.
The Raw Nerve Research Group (RNRG) is an interdisciplinary collective based at UW that specializes in “thinking with our feet,” using dance and game-like movement to explore research questions, and as an alternate means of data presentation. It was founded by Sarah Tolmie in 2011 and Dawn Parker has just joined. We are going to use our “embodied cognition pedagogy” to explain some key concepts in Dawn’s area of research, the mathematics of complex systems. We will walk the audience through a definition of a complex system and introduce deterministic and stochastic theories of how emergent data patterns form, showing diverse examples: how plants grow, how people distribute themselves in a city, how improv performers interact. In an agent-based model we will ask audience members to join us in a walking demonstration of preferential attachment, one principle that generates common emergent forms such as fractals or power law distributions.
The talk will be held in Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s, on University of Waterloo Campus.