OIST Workshop "Manifolds in Nature"
In the last few years with the advent of large scale data collection in many areas of science and the advent of Big Data in areas such as genomics, neuroscience, geophysical measurements and ecological observations it has become apparent that much to our surprise, the complexity of most large scale observations are not as complex as expected. That is in systems like in neuroscience where the human brain has 10^12 neurons or a mammalian genome with 25,000 genes do not behave like 10^12 or 25 thousand dimensional systems but much like maybe 2-20 dimensional systems. The evidence for that is that observations of thousands of neurons, genes or species can be well represented in low dimensional spaces with particular geometries. These shapes that describe well the relationships between networked components of large systems are loosely defined as manifolds. Although this has been observed in many areas of science, this near ubiquitously observed dimensionality reduction is largely without explanation.
Here in this conference we will bring scientists from many unrelated areas that rarely if ever interact where these low dimensional manifolds have been observed in the hopes to allow taking the concept of manifold in nature to new general insights that allow understanding how complex evolved networks can transfer information where channel capacity might be limited and are limited by evolutionary processes.
Questions that we hope to raise are such as:
- Are there mathematical principles that necessitate this dimensionality reduction?
- What is the role of time?
- Are theorems in computation and pure mathematics going to provide some theoretical guarantees or give upper and lower bounds on dimensionality or natural systems?
In this conference to hope to connect domain specific scientists, algorithm creators as well as software and hardware computational scientists to connect and develop a common language that enables collaborative work across disciplines. In this way to get to know of each other’s contribution, we intend to create a community that is transdisciplinary and can address some of these questions that are still unaddressed to this day.
OIST is deeply committed to the advancement of women in science, in Japan and worldwide. Women are strongly encouraged to apply.