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Institute of Advanced Study

Emergencies, Tipping Points and Fragilities

Tipping Points in Modelling

Convenor: Dr Camila Caiado (MathematicalSciences)

Mathematical and computational models are widely used by physical and social scientists. These models are normally used to investigate the dynamics of a complex system like climate, financial markets, energy systems or societal behaviour. Due to the complexity of the systems being analysed, it is often necessary to investigate the fragility of such models and explore its capability to adapt to tipping points such as drastic climate change, financial crisis, blackouts or social epidemics.

Through a series of interdisciplinary seminar lunches, the following issues will be discussed:

  • How stable and close to reality are model outputs when near a tipping point?
  • How does the level of complexity of a model affect the predictability of important events?
  • How can we differentiate a tipping point induced by the modelling process and a real tipping point?
  • How do we assess the fragility of a model?
  • How do mathematical, statistical and agent-based models differ when capturing the dynamics of tipping points in a complex system?

This series will maintain continuity and expansion of the interest group which has built up through previous IAS modelling seminar series and addresses new questions raised by researchers in previous sessions. The seminars are open to all researchers at Durham, and collaborators.

Lunch will be provided but spaces are limited, please sign-up to any of the events listed by contacting Camila Caiado ( .


Thursday 4 September 2014 Modelling and Policy Making
Thursday 18 September 2014 Subjective Bayesian Meeting
Wednesday 8 October 2014 Beyond Euler and Navier-Stokes: New Theories of Compressible flow
Thursday 13 November 2014 How do people make choices? Tipping points in human behaviour
Thursday 19 February 2015 Emergencies, Tipping Points and Fragilities Seminar - Patterns of evolution and extinction in social and economic systems, and the implications for models of rational behaviour
Friday 20 February 2015 The future of communities and culture evolution confirmed - link to follow
Thursday 12 March 2015 Robust common-cause failure modelling in power networks with non-immediate repair
Wednesday 27 May 2015 Speaker: Professor John Haslett (Trinity College, Dublin). Title and venue to be confirmed.
Friday 5 June 2015 Early prediction of internet 'winners': products/technologies/ideas. Venue and times to be confirmed.
Thursday 18 June 2015 EVENT CANCELLED
Thursday 16 July 2015 EVENT CANCELLED

These seminars will take place at the Institute of Advanced Study, 1.00-2.00pm, unless otherwise stated. Lunch will be available from 12.30pm. However, the workshop on 4 September is taking place in the Ken Wade lecture theatre, Calman Learning Centre, Science Site