Madison Chaos and Complex Systems Seminar

The fall 2020 Chaos and Complex Systems seminars have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its place, we have started a Google discussion group which you are welcome to join.

Fall 2020 Seminars

All seminars are Tuesday at 12:05 pm in 4274 Chamberlin Hall except as noted. Refreshments will be served.

Short List


September 8, 2020

Enhancing soil health through policy and practice

Steve Ventura, UW Department of Soil Science
Healthy soils are fundamental to food security and provide numerous other ecosystem services, including water purification and carbon sequestration to mitigate climate change. But, modern agriculture and land development can disrupt the complex biochemical and ecological systems that contribute to these functions. This talk will introduce some of the practices that contribute to healthy soils and some of the possible policies and incentives that could encourage adoption by farmers and land managers.

November 3, 2020

Designing robots for human interaction

Bilge Mutlu, UW Department of Computer Science

Robots are emerging as a family of technologies that offer their users unprecedented capabilities through highly complex, situated, and continuous interactions, reshaping many human activities and environments. These new capabilities and forms of interaction also bring forth new design challenges—how do we build such technologies so that they work effectively with people, that they are not disruptive human social and physical environments, and that they are accepted, adopted, and welcomed by people? In this talk, I will present research that addresses three key challenges of designing robotic technologies for human interaction: (1) defining and systematically studying the design space for robotic systems for human use; (2) developing and using design support tools for the complex design problems introduced by these systems; and (3) integrating robotic systems into human environments and studying their use and adoption over long periods of time.

November 10, 2020

The complexity of pain how to better understand and express pain perception: a Physical Therapist's perspective
Jim Cumming, UW Hospital and Clinics

Physical therapists are often charged with alleviating pain in those suffering from various injuries, afflictions, and after surgery.  In treating pain, Physical therapists are often bewildered how pain expression varies wildly from individual to individual, and even from day to day or hour to hour. This discussion will dive a bit into the neuroscience of pain, and the possible mechanisms behind why things like having an illness, having a stressful life, and even the weather can affect pain perception. But the crux of the discussion will be to discuss some ideas for how to communicate with your health providers about your symptoms to hopefully help improve the care you receive.

December 1, 2020

The restoration of Trumpeter Swans in Wisconsin

Randy Jurewicz, retired WI DNR Endangered Species Program Administrator

Randy will review the history of the decimation of Trumpeter Swans in North America, share the management efforts that brought Trumpeter Swans back to Wisconsin, and describe the numerous state, federal and private partners that made it all possible. He will show how Trumpeter Swan eggs were collected from Alaska including a brief travel log of his trips to Alaska.