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Keynotes

Professor Nigel Gilbert,
University of Surrey, UK

Professor Nigel Gilbert is one of the pioneers of applying agent-based modelling to the social sciences, which provided the foundations of modern computational sociology. His work has opened the doors for modelling complex and fundamental aspects of human societies in a quantitative way providing social scientists with a range of new tools. Together with Klaus G. Troitzsch, Gilbert published the classic textbook for social modeling: "Simulation for the social scientist" widely used until this day. Gilbert is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the British Computer Society, the Royal Society of Arts and an Academician of the Academy of the Social Sciences. He is the founder and Director of the Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS), which is a multidisciplinary centre bringing together the social sciences, software engineering and agent-based computing to promote and support the use of simulation in the social sciences. Above all, he is the founder and editor of the popular simulation journal JASSS.

Professor Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen,
Imperial College London, UK

Professor Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen is professor in mathematical physics, the leader of the Complexity and Networks group at Imperial College London and a passionate painter. In his research he approaches a diverse range of topics, including self-organised criticality, statistical mechanics and its role in emergent phenomena, complexity and emergence in creativity and music perception and the conceptual relation between mathematics and painting. Jensen is probably best known for the Tangled Nature model, which has successfully been used to understand system level phenomena related to disciplines such as evolutionary ecology and economy. Jensen is the author of the popular textbook "Self-Organized Criticality, Emergent Complex Behaviour in Physical and Biological Systems", recently co-authored the book "Stochastic Dynamics of Complex Systems: From Glasses to Evolution" with Paolo Sibani and has contributed to the Springer Encyclopaedia on Complexity and Systems Science on statistical mechanics and record dynamics.

Professor Mark Newman,
University of Michigan, US

Professor Mark Newman is Paul Dirac Collegiate Professor of Physics and professor at the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan as well as an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute. He is probably best known for his seminal work on complex networks and has a particular interest in social networks and graph theory. Newman's research group has been highly influential in the development of measures and techniques to quantify such networks, in particular producing algorithms to better detect community structure.

In recent years Newman has additionally gained substantial media attention for the development of a new method to generate area cartograms, resulting in the popular book "The Atlas of the Real World" as well widely used visualisations of the 2012 US presidential election results. The latest of his seven published books is called "Networks: An Introduction" and provides a comprehensive guide to the theory of the science of networks, which is rapidly establishing itself as the standard textbook in the area.

Professor Eörs Szathmáry,
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

Professor Eörs Szathmáry is a theoretical evolutionary biologist, whose work focuses on major transitions in evolution such as the origin of life, the rise of the first cellular organisms, and the development of human language. Szathmáry’s best known work is on the origins of the genetic code, an analysis of epistasis in terms of metabolic control theory as well as a derivation of the optimal size of the genetic alphabet. Szathmáry has also provided a general framework for discussing the transitions in evolution and particularly the growth of complexity in the living world. He attributes this increase in complexity to shifts in information storage and transmission, which, in turn, result in a series of major evolutionary transitions. This research is summarized in his two seminal books co-authored with a fellow theoretical biologist John Maynard Smith: "The Major Transitions in Evolution" and "The Origins of Life".