The Science of Interaction: A New NSF Initiative


Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 14:00pm - Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 15:00pm

325b ITE

blog, networking, social media

The Science of Interaction initiative aims to establish, explore and exploit the role of communications and computing in all other sciences and engineering. It is envisioned as a basic, trans-disciplinary field, comprised of elements of mathematical, physical, social, biological, earth and computing sciences, with applications in every engineering discipline. As we continue to populate the Earth and space with complex, heterogeneous, interconnected, interdependent manmade systems, such as transportation, communication, distribution (food, supply, power) and sensor networks, we observe that the dynamics of these systems increasingly resemble natures own physical, chemical, cellular, social, atmospheric, fluid interactions.

The Science of Interaction promises to unlock and utilize natures means, from sub-particle to galactic scales, in storing, using, and conveying information, and controlling systems. It seeks to harness natures signals, codes and communications, feedback and control systems, in order to advance manmade systems for intelligence, health, education, prosperity, and security of individuals and societies. Two unifying themes underlie all projects in the Science of Interaction:

  • Exploring and modeling natures interactions, connections, complex relations, and interdependencies, scaling from sub-particles to galactic, from cellular to societal, in microns to light years, in order to understand them, mimic them, synthesize them, and exploit them (examples include theory of networked computing, metabolic and gene expression networks, control systems, organizational behavior, social and economic networks)
  • Coupling of the physical world with the cyber world, integrating natural sciences with social, and computing sciences and engineering (examples include logistical systems, supply chains, power networks, signal sensing and processing, bioinformatics, human-computer interaction, communications systems, cognitive sciences, disease outbreak models)
These themes call for projects at the interface of natural sciences, social sciences, computing, and engineering. This talk will overview and discuss this new initiative, and seek to get audience input for exemplary applications.

Tulay Adali

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