UK Nonlinear News, August 1998

NEW Institute for Advanced Study

The Institute for Advanced Study has announced that it will begin a new program in theoretical biology, to be headed by Martin Nowak, one of the world's leading researchers in this area. Nowak,  presently professor of mathematical biology at Oxford University and head of the Mathematical Biology Group will move to the Institute this Winter to lead the research initiative. The use of mathematical ideas, models, and techniques in the biosciences has been growing rapidly and becoming increasingly important. Although mathematical biology began in the 1920s with the work of Fischer, Haldane and Wright in genetics, Lokta and Volterra in ecology, and Kermack and McKendrick in epidemiology, biology does not have the same mathematical/theoretical tradition as the physical sciences. However, several areas of biology have gradually developed an understanding of the importance that mathematical approaches can play.

"The Institute's new initiative is a tremendous opportunity for theoretical biology and an important recognition of the whole field", Nowak commented. "The main objectives of the new program will be to undertake world-class research in diverse areas of mathematical biology, ranging from evolutionary biology and ecology to infectious diseases of humans. The emphasis will be on maintaining research collaborations with leading experimental groups, as mathematical theory in biology is usually at is best when in close conjunction with experimental data."

Source: Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 45(6), 728, June/July 1998.

New Recurrence Analysis software

Version 2.5 of the VRA (Visual Recurrence Analysis) software for Windows 95 has recently been released. VRA is a software package which is used to display and study recurrence plots, first described by J.P. Eckmann, S. Oliffson Kamphorst and D. Ruelle in "Recurrence plots of dynamical systems" in 1987. Recurrence plots are a relatively new graphical device for the qualitative assessment of time series. With recurrence plots the user can graphically detect hidden patterns and structural changes in data or see similarities in patterns across the time series under study. Recurrence plots are essentially a graphical representation of the correlation integral in such a way so that the time dependence in the system under study is preserved. They are constructed by embedding a one-dimensional signal into a higher-dimensional space, calculating the distances between all vectors and color-coding these distances on the time-ordered matrix. VRA version 2.5 is free for copying and distribution. It can be downloaded from .Some sample data files are included, as well as the help file.

Additional information is available at:

Source: Eugene Kononov (

EMC established at Heriot-Watt University

The Edinburgh Multidisciplinary Consortium for Advanced Data Analysis of Complex Systems (EMC) has been established in the Physics Department  at Heriot-Watt University. It interfaces academics with doctors and  financiers to undertake fundamental and strategic research into  modelling, simulation and prediction of real-life complex systems. It aims to develop new strategies and methodology to improve the  diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrest patients and to advance the analysis and prediction of financial markets.

The Consortium is led by Professor R.G. Harrison in the Physics Department and is funded by the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) Research Development Grant. The four partners involved are:

1) Physics Department at Heriot-Watt University
2) Accident & Emergency Department, The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
3) Laerdal Medical Ltd, Kent
4) Investment Division, Standard Life, Edinburgh

Some relevant web pages are:

For information, please contact

Professor R.G. Harrison
Department of Physics
Heriot-Watt University
Riccarton, Edinburgh EH14 4AS

Tel: 0131 451 3033
Fax: 0131 451 3136


Source: Dejin Yu

Bifurcation and Symmetry Meetings

A programme of four meetings in 1998 have been supported by a grant from the London Mathematical Society under Scheme 3. Of these, three have so far taken place:

SYMMETRY AND DYNAMICS University of Southampton
(organiser : David Chillingworth) 14 January
Speakers: Peter Ashwin, Paul Glendinning, Reiner Lauterbach, John Toland.

(organiser : Anne Skeldon) 17 June
Speakers: Doug Binks, Raymond Hide, Nick Hill, Rebecca Hoyle, Peter Lucas, Paul Matthews, Tom Mullin.

(organiser : Mark Roberts) 16-17 July
Speakers: Anthony Bloch, Gianne Derks, Igor Kozin, Eugene Lerman, Andrew Lewis, Debra Lewis, James Montaldi, Sergei Pekarsky, Mark Roberts, Dmitri Sadovskii, Esmeralda Sousa Dias, Andre Vanderbauwhede.

The fourth meeting on BIFURCATION AND SYMMETRY : APPLICATIONS will take place at the University of Nottingham in September (see the meetings section)

For details contact Paul Matthews or David Chillingworth

Info Dynamics Days 1999/2000

The Dynamics Days/Europe solicits proposals for the venue of the 1999 and 2000 Dynamics Days conferences. Potential hosts for Dynamic Days are urged to submit a proposal well ahead of the meeting, as well as proceeding with grant applications so the scheduling decisions can be made in time.  The next open date is early summer 1999, and the committee expects to select the 1999 location by the middle of September 1998. The committee favours locations with inexpensive housing to encourage younger  participants and good financial support for those who could not participate otherwise. The proposal should include a reasonably reliable forecast of such funding; proposals that would support a series of Dynamics Days conferences would be especially welcome.

Pre-proposals (in e-mail form) can be communicated to any of the members of the Dynamics Days/Europe ad-hoc advisory committee (John Brindley ) (Giulio Casati) (Sergio Ciliberto) (Predrag Cvitanovic) (Gert Eilenberger) (Pierre Gaspard) (Theo Geisel) (Fritz Haake) (John Hogan) (Claus Montonen) (Antti Niemi) (Jean-Francois Pinton) (Pavel Pokorny) (Tamas Tel)

The format of Dynamical Days Meetings

Typical Dynamical Days have had between 120 and 300 participants. The date is open (usually summer), so as to avoid conflicting with the US Dynamics Days. The organisers should cover travel and lodging for 12-18 invited speakers, and obtain some extra funding to encourage participation from junior researchers and researchers from central/eastern Europe. No funding is available from the Dynamical Days committee.

Previous Dynamical Days Europe

1986 DYNAMICS DAYS, Twente June 3-6
1987 VIII. DYNAMICS DAYS, Dusseldorf June 10-13
1988 IX. DYNAMICS DAYS, Dusseldorf June 15-18
1989 X. DYNAMICS DAYS, Dusseldorf June 7-10
1990 XI. DYNAMICS DAYS, Dusseldorf June 20-23
1991 XII. DYNAMICS DAYS, Berlin June 12-15 (450 participants)
1992 XIII. DYNAMICS DAYS, Rydzyna June 10-13
1993 XIV. DYNAMICS DAYS, Rydzyna June 9-12
1994 XV. DYNAMICS DAYS, Budapest July 15-18
1995 DYNAMICS DAYS, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon June 28-July 1
1996 DYNAMICS DAYS, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon July 10-13
1998 XVIII. DYNAMICS DAYS, Edinburgh 28 June - 1 July


European Dynamics Days 1998
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Time: Sunday 21 June - Wednesday 24 June (or Sunday 28 June - Wednesday 1 July)
Funding: (put some specific amounts as to senior/junior participant support here)
Organisers: J. Brindley (Leeds), J. Hogan (Bristol), J. Stark (UCL)
Aims: To provide a European focus for all types of activity in dynamical systems & related topics, with talks by experts directed at an audience of active researchers including postdoctoral fellows & postgraduates.
Format: 12-15 invited speakers each giving talks of up to 40 minutes, up to 200 European attendees giving shorter talks/posters throughout the meeting, lengthy time set aside for coffee, lunch & dinner discussions, no parallel sessions.
Themes: Experiments/Spatio-temporal Chaos/Time Series/Stochastic PDEs/Applications to other disciplines.
Invitees: to be proposed by the organising and the advisory committees

Source: Predrag Cvitanovic (

Info Snowbird dynamics conference

The Snowbird dynamics conference information has been recently updated;


Source: Jerry Marsden (

A little info on the 5th Experimental Chaos Conference

To be held (approximately) 3rd Week in June 1999, Torino, Italy.

Local contact: A. Osborne, Dipartimento di Fisica Generale, Via Pietro Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy, telephone: +39-11-6707451 (off). All oral presentations must be experimental in nature or include data from physical systems as the main focus the the talk. Anyone wanting to be added to the mailing list to get more information, please email Mark Spano: with your name, full address, email address, phone number, and FAX number.

Source: Lou Pecora

Help on unemployment projections

I am currently doing research in the area of economics, although I am an Employment Counselor and writer on areas of work. I am looking for resource material (primary & secondary) on statistics and unemployment projections. The Canadian government has based much of its policy on linear analysis and things are not going well in terms of predictability. Is there any work on non-linear approaches to this area?

Darrell J. Noakes
Winnipeg, Canada

Help on literacy acquisition

I am preparing a PhD thesis examining literacy acquisition through the 'eyes' of non linear theory. The starting point is Paul Van Geert's work on language development. If anyone has any interesting references or sources, I would love to hear from you! I am an educational psychologist by profession and have good access to psychological material.

I can be reached on

01922 721551 (day)
01543 263059 (evening)

My email address is and I even have a snail mail


Psychological Services
Lime House
Littleton Street West
West Midlands

Chris Arnold

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Last Updated: 7th August 1998.