Final CFP: MCB'97 - Aizu, Japan

Chrystopher Nehaniv nehaniv at
Mon Sep 15 01:18:10 EST 1997


                         INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON



             UNIVERSITY OF AIZU, JAPAN --- OCTOBER 21-25, 1997



This interdisciplinary international workshop will bring together
researchers working on aspects of evolutionary, mathematical and
computational biology that are of particular interest (1) for computer
scientists, both as sources of ideas (via emulation of nature's solutions)
for software systems and as areas of application (bioinformatics), (2) for
biologists looking for mathematical and computational methods to address
difficult questions of evolution such as individuality, multicellularity,
replication, and morphogenesis, and (3) for mathematicians who strive to
develop the theoretical tools for asking (and possibly answering!) such
questions rigorously.

Major transitions in evolution of living systems are now understood to have
been brought about by changes in (1) hierarchical structuring, resulting in
new units of evolution, and (2) in the way information is organized,
manipulated, and interpreted.

Deeper insights in the origin of metazoan life rely on a viewpoint in which
mathematical and computational models elucidate synthesis of hierarchical
structure while coping with the tendency of lower levels to evolve
out-of-control (as happens in cancer but also in large software systems). Of
special concern are the evolution of individuality, symbiogenesis,
evolutionary developmental biology, computational morphogenesis and origins
of the digital genetic code. Although approaches to the nature, study and
emulation of life through mathematical representation and digital media in
synthetic worlds have progressed rapidly in the last decade, the development
of mathematical frameworks for addressing these issues still remains largely
a future prospect that this workshop wishes to address.

This complexity of hierarchical systems can be treated using methods from
the algebraic theory of automata. Models of how such higher levels of
complexity arise in nature will have implications for the future of complex
information systems as well as for the understanding of biological systems.

Self-replicating and self-maintaining systems are providing models for
advances in computational sciences, while foundations of computer sciences
are exerting a new influence in biology. In particular the notion of a
constructive dynamical system in which objects interact to produce other
objects appears to be a necessary ingredient in an adequate mathematical
treatment of living systems whereas differential models that rely on
abstracted, measured quantities have largely failed to capture many of of
the essential properties of life

This workshop provides a forum in which researchers in these fields can
discuss and develop the ideas relating biology, symbiogenesis, autopoiesis,
self-reproducing and self-maintaining systems, `artificial life', digital
evolution, computational morphogenesis, biological cybernetics, animation
using digitally evolved actors, robotics, embodied agents, mathematical
models ini ecology and population genetics, with foundations of theoretical
computer science including concurrency, parallelism, lambda-calculus,
semigroups, constructors, formal languages, automata, as well as future
applications to hierarchical software systems and synthetic worlds. Also
treated will be methods, models and applications of digital evolution.


Invited Speakers (partial list):
(and tentative presentation titles)

   * Prof. Richard E. Michod
     Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
     University of Arizona, U.S.A.

     Cooperation and Conflict in the Evolution of Individuality

   * Dr. Eörs Szathmáry
     Institute for Advanced Study,
     Collegium Budapest, Hungary

     A Classification of Replicators and the Increase of Complexity in

   * Dr. Thomas S. Ray
     Biology Dept., University of Delaware, U.S.A. &
     ATR Human Information Processing Research Laboratories, Kyoto, Japan

     Evolution in the Digital Medium

   * Prof. Karl Sigmund
     Institute for Mathematics
     University of Vienna, Austria

     The Social Life of Automata

   * Dr. Kurt Fleischer
     Pixar Animation Studios

     [Title to be announced]

   * Dr. Larry Bull
     Computer Science Dept., University of the West of England
     & Hewlett-Packard Corp., U.K.

     On the Evolution of Eukaryotes: Artificial Life Models of Symbiogenesis
     and Multicellularity

   * Prof. John L. Rhodes
     Dept. of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley

     The Evolution of Biological Complexity from an Algebraic Perspective
     (joint work with C. Nehaniv, University of Aizu)

Other (as yet unconfirmed) invitees include Dr. Giuseppe Pirillo (IAMI CNR,
Firenze) and Professor Lynn Margulis (U. Mass., Amherst).


Selected papers are to be published the American Mathematical Society (AMS)
in the Lectures on Mathematics in the Life Sciences (LLSCI) book series.
Contributed extended abstracts be will published in booklet by the
University of Aizu.


Researchers working in the above or related areas, who would like to make a
short presentation of 20 minutes, may submit an EXTENDED ABSTRACT of no more
than ONE PAGE (showing the author(s) affiliation and contact information) in
PostScript, LaTeX, TeX or hardcopy format to the address below (electronic
submissions are preferred). It must be RECEIVED by SEPTEMBER 30, 1997.
Authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection of their presentation by
OCTOBER 3, 1997. Accepted presentation abstracts will be published in
University of Aizu technical report available at the conference. Full papers
submitted for peer-refereeing and possible inclusion in the AMS volume will
be due the end of November.

Registration Fee

The fee includes all conference activities including social activities
(symposium dinner and cultural/historical excursion), plenary and
contributed talks, the presentation abstracts volume, and (when it appears
in 1998) the AMS volume. The registration fee will be payable on site in
Japanese yen (or within Japan only via bank transfer):

40,000 Japanese Yen (Participants from Academia / Private)
65,000 Japanese Yen (Participants from Industry / Government)
15,000 Japanese Yen (Student)

For further information, contact:

Prof. C.L. Nehaniv
Mathematical & Computational Biology Workshop
University of Aizu
Aizu-Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture 965-80

E-mail: nehaniv at

Website :

Last Modified: 12 September 1997

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