Core team:

Peter Sheridan Dodds

Peter Sheridan Dodds  

Director, Vermont Complex Systems Center

Dodds's research focuses on system-level, big data problems in many areas including language and stories, sociotechnical systems, Earth sciences, biology, and ecology. His foundational funding was an NSF CAREER award granted to study sociotechnical phenomena (2009-2015). Together with Chris Danforth, he co-runs the Computational Story Lab.

Juniper Lovato

Juniper Lovato  

Director of Outreach for Complex Systems, Vermont Complex Systems Center

At the Vermont Complex Systems Center, Juniper works across generations and geographical limits to make resources and knowledge on cutting-edge complexity science more accessible to those with a hunger and curiosity for learning and exploration. Juniper came to Burlington in 2018. She previously served as the Director of Education for the Santa Fe Institute, an independent complexity science research center. She is also a co-founder of MAKE Santa Fe, a not-for-profit community makerspace in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Juniper received her Master’s in the Western Classics from St. John’s College in 2013 where she completed a thesis on the nature of pleasure in work in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.

Chris Danforth

Chris Danforth  

Flint Professor of Mathematical, Natural, and Technical Sciences, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.

Joshua Bongard

Joshua Bongard  

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science

Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.

Paul Hines

Paul Hines  

Associate Professor, School of Engineering

Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.

Margaret (Maggie) Eppstein

Margaret (Maggie) Eppstein  

Chair & Professor, Department of Computer Science

Eppstein’s research interests involve developing and applying complex systems methods (including evolutionary and agent-based computation, artificial neural networks, and complex network methods) to problems in a variety of biological, environmental, technological, and sociological domains.

Jim Bagrow

Jim Bagrow  

Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).

Brian Tivnan

Brian Tivnan  

Chief Engineer, MITRE Corporation

Tivnan, a UVM Complex Systems Center affiliate, is the Burlington site leader and chief engineer in the Modeling & Simulation Department for the MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that manages federally funded research and development centers, partnering with government sponsors to support their crucial operational missions. His current research interests include the study of conflict and quantitative finance.

Laurent Hébert-Dufresne

Laurent Hébert-Dufresne  

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.

Mads R. Almassalkhi

Mads R. Almassalkhi

Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences

Almassalkhi's research interests lie at the intersection of power systems, optimization, and controls. Almassalkhi works on developing novel feedback and optimization algorithms that improve resilience of power systems, which is increasingly more important as power systems are operating closer and closer to their limits.

The Roboctopus

The Roboctopus

Cephalopod, robot suit enhanced

The Roboctopus is our secret overlord joyful mascot. The Roboctopus is a real, non-pantomime octopus inside an advanced robot suit designed for supermarine activities. The Roboctopus is an avid proponent of the sciences of all complex systems, with a personal interest in those found in biology, engineering, the sociotechnocene, distributed computing (neurons in tentacles), big data, and mollusks. The Roboctopus is well adapted to Vermont and enjoys skiing and building Snowboctopuses.



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