This meeting is open to all with a professional interest in critical transitions, stability and resilience in complex systems. This event will showcase the results of a four-year research program undertaken in eight European universities and led by Imperial College, London. 

The problem of characterising and predicting the occurrence of sudden changes of behaviour in the dynamics of complex systems has been at the forefront of scientific agenda of many national research councils and the EU for more than a decade.

There is empirical evidence for the existence of early-warning signals for sudden changes in many complex systems. In medicine we have spontaneous systemic failures such as asthma attacks or epileptic seizures; in global finance, there is concern about systemic market crashes; in the Earth system, abrupt shifts in ocean circulation or climate such as the end of the glacial period; in ecology examples are catastrophic shifts in rangelands or the onset of severe droughts, collapse of fish or wildlife populations, collapse of coral ecosystems and outbreaks of disease in crops; in engineering systems we have structural and functional failures; in society and economy we have sudden shifts in trends and behaviour. The list is not exhaustive as there are many more examples of sudden onsets of major shifts in complex systems.

The scope of the CRITICS research programme is to establish the theoretical foundation, develop models, techniques, early-warning signals and computational tools to predict sudden changes of behaviour in a wide variety of contexts, including biology, climate, environment, finance, geophysics, economy and engineering systems.

We want to find wider applications for our research and to connect with potential partners who could benefit from this knowledge. The presentations will be shaped for a scientific but not necessarily mathematical audience, to encourage communication and bridge the gap between theoretical research and concrete applications. The event will alternate presentations from CRITICS researchers, final year PhD students, industry speakers and networking sessions.

This is an opportunity to learn about the state-of-the art research and applications in this vast field and to connect with a wide group of PhD students in their final year, senior academics and scientists working in industry and other research institutions.




 Full Schedule

Marco Bardoscia, Research Economist, Stress Test Strategy Division

It was great to be part of such an interesting interdisciplinary event. I have certainly learned something new, and that is always good. I think it was excellently organised and, if anything, I think we should be having more of such events.

Bank of England

Pablo Rodriguez-Sanchez, physicist and science journalist

Communicating mathematical research is probably the hardest sub-genre of science communication. Mathematics tends to be perceived as a “too-hard-to-even-try” subject by large sectors of society. The event  was an example of the efforts to fill this gap. The CRITICS researchers were coached to communicate their work to a scientific but not necessarily mathematical audience.  Dr. Sargent combines her solid background in physics and mathematics with excellent communication skills and a very good sense of humor. In my personal case, the coaching sessions helped me not only to prepare a better presentation but, as a side effect, to write a better paper.

University of Wageningen

Karl Nyman, PhD Student

It was inspiring to learn about and get in touch with people and problems that I probably would not encounter outside this event. The variety and fields and applications facing similar challenges was remarkable.

University of Copenhagen

This event is part of series of events. The registration is now closed.

  Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London, Huxley Building, Kensington, London


Date: 12 July 2018

Next event: TBA.



For more information on CRITICS network and research please visithttp://www.criticsitn.eu/wp/