Pranab Das delivered a talk titled "Emergence in a Dynamical Systems Context" to an interdisciplinary research group at the University of California, Berkeley on Oct. 2, 2014.
Das is currently on sabbatical supported by Elon University’s faculty research and development committee and a major grant from the John Templeton Foundation. He is focusing on the topic of emergence, the coming into being of new properties and processes in complex systems. This subject is of central interest in a number of scientific fields including physics, materials science and neuroscience. It is also a matter of vigorous debate in philosophy and many other disciplines. Das comes to this study with a background in the physics and computation of dynamical systems and simulation of neural function.
Among the leading researchers in this area is Terrence Deacon, a professor with joint appointments in physical anthropology and neuroscience at Berkeley. His books and have been very influential in framing the emergence dialogue and his current research continues to push the field forward. His invitation to Das to speak to his interdisciplinary research group provided an opportunity to share results and approaches and explore potential areas of collaboration.