The 8th Understanding Complex Systems Conference will be held May 12-15, 2008 at the UIUC



Focus of UCS 2007:
- Bioinformatics
- Spread of Autocatalytic Processes on Networks, including Solitons
- Design, Modeling, and Control of Systems of Systems

Understanding Complex Systems 2007 Audio files

May 14-17, 2007
Department of Physics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

There is a shuttle bus from the Holiday Inn to the Department of Physics (Loomis Lab) 7am-10pm.


» Plenary Speakers
» Schedule
» List of Participants and Abstracts
» Event Organization
» Advisory Board
» Conference Staff

The Conference

The symposium Understanding Complex Systems is designed to bring together researchers from many academic disciplines and industry and stimulate cross-disciplinary research activities to build and advance the Complex Systems Research community. A small group of distinguished invited speakers will introduce key complex systems concepts in the context of their discipline. These invited plenary talks are on a 'Scientific American' level. Three hands-on tutorials are in parallel with technical sessions, covering the most recent research findings. The organizers will provide information about funding opportunities for complex systems research and promote linkages for interdisciplinary proposals. One session will be on defense issues, ranging from agent based models of the rise and fall of social organizations, including conflict and confict resolution to landmine counter-measures. The session "Beyond the Edge of Science" will feature thought provoking ideas and concepts.

Keywords: many interacting objects, networks, system of systems, computational complexity, algorithmic complexity, minimal algorithms, NP-complete, cell as a system, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, systems biology, informatics, chaos fractals, neural nets, genetic algorithms, nonlinear dynamics, cellular automata, avalanches, granular materials

The conference helps to build the Complex Systems research community. In addition, it offers all presenters of posters and talks an excellent opportunity to publish high quality research quickly in the journal Complexity through an accelerated referee process. Complexity is a leading journal in the field.

Presentations and Publications

All participants are welcome to contribute a 30-min. talk, or to present a poster in the poster session, or communicate a paper at the preprint table during the coffee breaks.

Please send a brief (< 150 words) abstract as soon as possible by e-mail to and indicate on your registration form the type of your presentation. The conference schedule will be updated daily.

The conference offers an excellent opportunity to publish high quality research quickly in the journal COMPLEXITY through an accelerated referee process. COMPLEXITY is a leading journal in the field.

If you intend to communicate a paper at the preprint table, please bring a sufficient number of copies of your paper to the symposium.

There will be a competition for the best poster by a junior researcher (non-tenured) and a competition for the best business talk by a junior researcher (non-tenured). Paper Publications:

    All registered participants are invited to submit a research paper.

    Instant Online Publication. All submitted papers will be published within a few days on a web server with the date at which they were received. We accept all electronic file formats, but we recommend the use of PDF, MS Word, or HTML. The papers will stay online for a couple of years. The papers will be removed from the web server at the authors request.

    Longterm Journal Publication. All registered participants are invited to submit a research paper for publication in the journal COMPLEXITY (click here for authors instructions) through an accelerated referee process. The conference papers will be in two issues of the journal Complexity. The deadline for research paper submissions for the first issue is September 30, 2007. The deadline for the second issue is November 15, 2007. The research papers should be submitted to the editorial office of Complexity by email ( or mail (Joleen Rocque-Frank, PO Box 6865, Santa Fe, NM 87502, U.S.A.) and labeled as "invited conference paper".

    Typically authors will take advantage of both options for their paper.

Book table: There will be a display with Complex Systems text books and journals.

Fees and Support

Conference Fees:

General Fee
$ 290.00
Includes conference dinner, conference reception, four lunches, and the conference proceedings.
Reduced Fee for Junior Researches
for young researchers without funding registration
$ 240.00
Includes conference dinner, conference reception, four lunches, and the conference proceedings.
Student Fee
for students and post doctorates
$ 45.00
Includes conference dinner and four lunches.
Fee Waiver
for UIUC faculty and students
$ 0.00
Includes conference reception and four lunches if a poster or a talk is presented.

Travel Support: A limited number of travel grants is available for students and young researchers. To apply for travel support, please email Alfred W. Hubler, with

• a one paragraph summary of research or policy involvement with complex systems

• either a poster title or statement of why you wish to participate in the conference

• contact information. Dr. Hubler can also be contacted through his blog.


Major sponsors of this conference series:
Office of Naval Research
National Institutes of Health, NIGMS
National Science Foundation, Physics Division & Chemistry Division

UIUC Sponsors:
Office of the Chancellor
Center for Complex Systems Research
Materials Computation Center at the Frederick Seitz MRL
National Center of Supercomputer Applications
School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
College of Engineering
Institute for Genomic Biology
Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center
Charles R. Walgreen Chair, Susan Kieffer
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Beckman Institute
Center for Advanced Study
Neuroscience Program
Analytical Chemistry
Chemical Biology
Illinois Genetic Algorithms Laboratory (IlliGAL)
Department of Crop Sciences
Department of Geology
Department of Bioengineering
Neuroscience Program
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Department of Physics

Additional Services

Please contact the event coordinator Alix Phelps at for concerns or information on the following services:

•babysitting service

•dietary concerns

handicap accessibility

•spouse activities


» Registration
» Location and Address
» Transportation and Lodging
» UCS 2006