1st Annual Conference on 
Complexity and Human Experience

Modeling Complexity in the 
Humanities and Social Sciences

May 30th - June 1st, 2012
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The recent increase in the number of formal institutes and conferences dedicated to complexity theory and its application is evidence that complexity science has arrived and is realizing its potential to cut across almost every academic discipline. Research projects centered on complex adaptive systems in the natural (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) and social sciences (economics, political science, anthropology, sociology, psychology, etc.), along with novel applications in engineering, computer science, robotics, and, more recently, the arts and the humanities (archaeology, art history, history, literature, philosophy, performance art, religion, etc.), have already earned some recognition in the field of complexity science. 

In light of these developments, the Complex Systems Institute and the Center for Advanced Research in the Humanities at UNC Charlotte will inaugurate an annual conference series, beginning in 2012, dedicated to complexity with particular application to understanding the intricacies of human experience across all domains. The goal of the series is to provide a trans-disciplinary venue for scholars from the humanities and the social sciences, as well as some aspects of the natural sciences (such as neuroscience, pharmacology, etc.). Since matters of life and death pertain to human experience in profound and important ways, the conference hopes to attract representatives from the allied health sciences as well. 

The conference series will be dedicated to a particular topic each year. The initial 2012 conference will be based on an Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities (IATDH) sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the UNC Charlotte Complex Systems Institute this past year that was dedicated to computer modeling in the humanities and social sciences. In keeping with the theme of the IATDH, the topic for our first conference will be: Modeling Complexity in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Submissions are invited on any specific topic that falls within the parameters described above. Sample topics include, but are not limited to, studies on: 
  • The development and transmission of language
  • The propagation of beliefs, ideas, and ideologies
  • The nature of historical and political change
  • The analysis of literary texts and their circulation
  • The effect of individual action on global economies
  • Social structure among pre-historic peoples
  • Archaeological settlement patterns in early cities
  • The role of architecture in facilitating public traffic patterns
  • The relationship between productivity, creativity, and happiness
  • Element and measures of creativity
  • Discovery of early trends and indicators of social and economic change
  • The role of science and technology in enhancing human experience
  • Defining and measuring indicators of the quality of human experience
  • The relationship between organizational/societal structure and the flow of energy and information
  • Defining utility and efficacy in the context of human experience
  • Simulation and modeling tools and paradigms
  • Verification and validation of models and simulated systems
  • The relationship between healthcare providers, patients, Internet, and social media
  • Defining ontologies in the context of modeling and simulation
  • Language and tools for promoting trans- and inter-disciplinary collaboration
  • Human-technology interaction
  • Data-driven wellness initiatives

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be in the form of 5000-word papers, each of which will be reviewed by the program committee. The committee is particularly interested in papers that show novel applications of Complexity Theory to enhance research in the areas here specified. Thus, preliminary work in progress or plans for a research program are welcomed and encouraged.

Submissions can be made through the EasyChair Conference system.  If you do not already have an EasyChair account you will be directed to create one.

This conference is dedicated to the work of Alan Turing (1912-1954) as part of the 2012 Alan Turing Year, a series of events to commemorate Turing's life and work. We do so here by examining computing applications and complexity in the humanities and social sciences that allow us to discover, create and make connections in ways that would not be possible were it not for Turing's seminal work. The conference will begin with a presentation on the life and times of the man who provided the theory that made the modern computer possible. 

Human Complexity 2012 is sponsored in part by the International Association for Computing and Philosophy.