Réseau national des systèmes complexes (RNSC)

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Selected sections of the 2007 roadmap for complex systems


DRW RNSC Appointment

Professor Douglas R. White, UC Irvine, was selected as the 2008-2009 Science Chair (Scientific Committee) of the French Réseau national des systèmes complexes (RNSC), the scientific interest group formed in 2004 to coordinate the major French national institutes that run the dozens of Complex Systems research institutions in France. The institutes include


They are coordinated by charter under "l’ensemble de ces objectifs et des moyens de les réaliser à travers :

une structure nationale, sous forme d’un GIS (Groupement d’intérêt scientifique), désigné dans toute la suite comme le réseau national des systèmes complexes, pour fédérer, coordonner et évaluer toutes les initiatives relatives à la science des systèmes complexes,
des structures administratives et un soutien stable pour les instituts régionaux existants et une aide à la création de nouveaux instituts,des incitations particulières pour créer et développer des laboratoires et des équipes pérennes pour capitaliser les compétences et la connaissance sur les systèmes complexes." http://rnsc.fr/tiki-edit_structure.php?page_ref_id=67[1]

The RNCS and its constituent research institutes study complex systems across disciplines, from cells to global ecology, grant fellowships, and run the complexity summer schools in Paris, Lyon, and at other major institutional sites.


White is fairly fluent in French and has taught a course in "Social Networks" the University of Lille, etc. As a researcher in complexity sciences at the Santa Fe Institute and in Europe. White gave the series of nine complexity social science lectures at the 2007 Summer School of the Complex Systems Institute Paris - Ile de France (ICS PIF) that took place in the heart of the Latin Quarter in Paris. He has been a Guest Professor four summers at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales, Paris, and and a recurrent Maison de Science Suger guest resident while engaged with numerous research teams in Paris. He has also taught a course in "Economics, Networks and Information" at the Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, a high-technology university in the Po Valley, one of Italy's dynamic Industrial District areas. He has been invited to the Max Planck Institutes at Rostok (Demography) and at Halle (Social Anthropology) (see: “Transforming Ethnographic Data and Analytical Problems into Network Data Suitable for Complementary Analysis and Theory” with Patrick Heady).

Zurich 2008

White will be a Visiting Professor in late May and June, 2008, at the Sociology Department of Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, ETHZ University in Zurich 2008, working with the research group on Selected Challenges in the Social Sciences: Modeling and Simulation Approaches - FIREFOX LINK and lecturing on his "ETH Complex Social-Circles and Feedback Networks" complex networks simulation project. He is also hosted by the Competence Center for "Coping with Crisis in Socio-Economic Systems", and invited by the Sociology Chair of Modeling and Simulation (Dirk Helbing). [http://www.trafficforum.org/ETH_colloquium


In late June, 2008, White is invited to give a Workshop Tutorial on "Organizational, social, and complex generative networks." International Conference on Network Science (NetSci'08) will be held on June 23-27, 2008. Norwich BioSciences Conference Centre, located on the Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK. He will also present a paper at NetSci'08 with Jörg Reichardt on "Beyond modularity: density generalized block modeling" Abstract in pdf.

Quai Branly Museum presentations on "New approaches to computing and kinship networks"

White's Paris-based group of anthropology and history researchers, under an Agence Nationale de la Recherche (the French equivalent to the NSF) research grant, will give a public two-day conference at the new Quai Branly Museum (art, anthropology, civilization) on "New approaches to computing and kinship networks" that features two coauthored papers in 2004 in Mathématiques et sciences humaines and two chapters submitted in 2008 to the Sage Handbook on Social Network Analysis, one on Kinship, Class and Community, and the other on Kinship Analytic Methods.

Networks and complexity prizes

White's collaborative work in networks and complexity has won prizes from the Mathematical Sociology and Economic sections of the American Sociological Association, in 2004 and 2007, for outstanding paper awards. He is a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Distinguished Senior Scientist Stiftung (a 2 year award) at the University of Cologne.




Selected publications

RNSC Activities

May 2008

National Roadmap for Complex Systems
Research Activities at Paris ISC-PIF
Research Activities at Lyon ISC-IXXI
Emerging thematic sub-networks: e.g., METISSE
RNSC training program: Summer schools, Thematic schools,
Open University of Complex Systems, Masters in Complex Systems

UCI Announcement

Douglas White is named chair of RNSC’s Scientific Committee


Douglas White, anthropology professor and IMBS research chair in Social Dynamics and Complexity, has been named chair of the Scientific Committee for France’s Réseau national des systèmes complexes (RNSC), the scientific society that oversees a number of French research institutions focused on the study of complex systems.

A member of the UC Irvine faculty since 1976, White has been widely recognized for his research on social networks and complex systems, and serves on the Santa Fe Institute for complexity research external faculty.

For the month of June, he will be a visiting professor in the sociology department of ETH University in Zurich with ETH’s complexity research Competence Center for "Coping with Crisis in Socio-Economic Systems".

Committee 2008

Peter Grassberger Visiting iCORE Professor in Biophysical Complexity, Complexity Science Group, University of Calgary

Home institution: John von Neumann Institute for Computing, Complex Systems Research Group, Jülich, Germany

Frank Jülicher Max-Planck-Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany

Tsou Sheung Tsun Mathematics, Jesus College, Oxford

Michel Droz Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Geneva (Statistical physics and Physics of Complex Systems)

Eric F. Wieschaus, Molecular Biology, Princeton (Nobel Prize in Medicine) home page

Eric Golès, Mathematics, Adolfo Ibáñez University, Viña Del Mar, Chile. (Boolean networks) CV