Renowned Complexity Science pioneer Stuart A. Kauffman arrived at UVM in early September 2010, where he begins his residence as Distinguished Professor with joint appointments in Biochemistry and Mathematics. Faculty and administrators from across campus greeted him at a Welcome Reception on September 10th, where Kauffman expressed his excitement about coming to UVM and his desire to contribute to UVM's growing Spire of Excellence in Complex Systems.
Complex Systems Center Director Maggie Eppstein encouraged the UVM Community to make the most of Stuart's presence here by:
Faculty member Brian Beckage wasted no time in making good on this opportunity and invited Stuart to give the Plant Biology Seminar less than a week after the reception. Stuart's resulting seminar, "Ideas on Development, Evolution and Community Assembly: For Discussion," was well attended and well received. Plans are now underway to organize a "Complexity in Ecology" discussion group with Kauffman and other interested parties.
Stuart is particularly interested in helping build bridges between the Sciences and Humanities at UVM. With a BA in Philosophy from Dartmouth, another BA in Philosophy, Psychology & Physiology from Oxford, a Medical doctorate from UCSF, and a lifetime of pioneering research in Complexity Science, ranging from the study of the origin of life to the complexity of economic systems, Kauffman has always believed strongly in the need for such connections. His prolific career has included hundreds of articles and four books that have helped shape the Science of Complexity: The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution, At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity, Investigations, and Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason and Religion. If you're not familiar with Stu's ideas, At Home in the Universe is a highly accessible place to start. To find out more about his career, see his homepage.
UVM Faculty and Students are encouraged to contact Stuart and make the most of this fabulous opportunity to have him on campus for Fall semesters 2010, 2011 and 2012.
You can reach him at Stuart.Kauffman@uvm.edu; his office is 200C Farrell Hall, Trinity Campus. Kauffman's UVM office phone is (802)656-3119, although email is a more reliable way to reach him.
Stop by his office to get acquainted or invite Stu and his wife Liz over for dinner and enjoy their stimulating company. We're fortunate to have him here, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity.