Ralph is Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, and is the author of over 20 books including Chaos Gaia Eros, The Web Empowerment Book, Chaos in Discrete Dynamical Systems, The Evolutionary Mind, The Chaos Avant-garde and Bolts from the Blue.
He has been active on the research frontier of dynamics in mathematics and has been a consultant on chaos theory and its applications in numerous fields (medical physiology, ecology, mathematical economics, psychotherapy, etc.) and is editor for the journals World Futures and the International Journal of Bifurcations and Chaos.
He founded the Visual Math Institute with its popular website and has performed works of visual and aural mathematics and music.
Monday, April 25 -- 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Neural Networks and Collective Consciousness
New Mexico Room
Since the computer revolution, mathematics has evolved several new branches known collectively as computational math, including chaos theory, bifurcations, fractal geometry, complex dynamical systems, emergence, connectionism, and neural network theory, to name just a few. Closely related, these new theories provide novel modeling methods for all the sciences. The social sciences have been particularly enriched with new concepts, cognitive strategies, and computer-based simulation methods such as agent-based models.
The first half of this program will be a guided tour of neural networks and agent based models, illustrated with computer-graphic animations. No technical background will be assumed.
In the second half, we will apply the ideas to world cultural history and collective consciousness. This is the conceptual frame for two books by the speaker, Chaos, Gaia, Eros, and Bolts from the Blue.
The goal of this novel application of new math to the evolution of consciousness is to enhance our understanding of the complex dynamical system in which we live, and to improve our efforts to create a sustainable future.
Learning objectives: one may take away from this lecture:
- an outline of an enormous field of new ideas, including links for further study
- powerful new concepts such as attractor, bifurcation, and emergent behavior,
- a new way at looking at relationships, organizations and cultural evolution, and
- new educational strategies for math and social science in high schools.