In the last few hundred years we have discovered the many hidden components of natural complex systems — atoms, microbes, DNA — as well as described better those complex elements in plain sight such as animals and people. And in more recent decades, new forms of complexity have quickly arisen due to the interconnectedness of computers, power stations, economies, and human organizations at all scales, with the consequent boons — easy access to data, collaborative online innovation — and banes — large-scale blackouts, financial collapses. The time frame of 1700 to 2000 may well be looked upon as the golden age of reductionism, a crucial period in the history of science that has led us to the necessity of understanding and creating complex systems.
We are framing this inaugural meeting around Big Data. Many sciences have been transformed as they've moved from being relatively data-scarce to almost overwhelmingly data-rich: biology, astronomy, medicine and, more and more, the social sciences. Witness the explosion of work and interest in complex networks over the last decade, as well as large-scale astronomy surveys, studies of financial systems, and the Google Books project leading to Culturomics.
Join us for this exciting TEDx and hear from speakers who are discovering the stories that emerge from the ever-growing data we collect.