CCSS Masterclass on Collective Effects and Crises in Socio-Economic Systems

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The CCSS MasterClass is a series of lectures on a specific topic of Complexity Science given by a leading expert in the field, which is generously supported by one of our UU alumni Laurens Gaarenstroom.

Masterclass Overview

General Title: Collective effects and crises in socio-economic systems 

General Introduction:
Socio-economic systems appear to share a lot of empirical similarities with “complex systems” in physics, geophysics, computer science, etc. Turbulent flows, Barkhausen noise, earthquakes or large scale networks come to mind.
Overarching themes are strong heterogeneity, feedback and instabilities. These lectures will introduce a few basic concepts and analytical methods to think about all these problems in a unified manner.  

Part I on Monday 9 October (10:00-15:00 with lunch) Lecture 1: Growth, Concentration and Inequalities (with hands-on tutorials)
Part II on Tuesday 10 October (10:00-15:00 with lunch) Lecture 2: The Random Field Ising Model: a Unifying Framework for Collective Effects (with hands-on tutorials)
Part III on Tuesday 10 October (15:00-17:00 with drinks afterward) Lecture 3: Firm Networks and Instabilities

Speaker Overview

Prof. Jean-Philippe Bouchaud is co-founder and chairman of Capital Fund Management (CFM), adjunct professor at École Normale Supérieure and co-director of the CFM-Imperial Institute of Quantitative Finance at Imperial College London. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences, and held the Bettencourt Innovation Chair at Collège de France in 2020. His work covers the physics of disordered and glassy systems, granular materials, the statistics of price formation, stock market fluctuations and the modelling of financial risks.

Lectures Overview

I: Growth, Concentration and Inequalities

The phenomenon of wealth inequalities has become a major topic in the last decade. We will review simple statistical models that can lead to either mild or extreme concentrations in the presence of multiplicative growth, that applies to living species, city growth, portfolio weights or wealth inequalities

II: The Random Field Ising Model (RFIM): a Unifying Framework for Collective Effects

Many socio-economic phenomena cannot be understood on the basis of isolated, rational agents. Social pressure often plays a crucial role in shaping the temporal evolution of consumption, opinion, preferences and adoption of innovation. The RFIM offers a unifying framework for understanding collective effects, that may totally distort individual behaviour and lead to crashes and crises.

III: Firm Networks and Instabilities

As with individual agents in lecture II, interaction between firms -- through  supply chains -- can lead to dramatic collective effects, such as amplification of small shocks leading to full fledged economic crises.  We will review recent models that help understand the "small shocks, large business cycle" conundrum as a result of shock propagation along firm networks, and emphasize the analogies with simple model of ecosystems where massive extinctions can take place, even in the absence of devastating exogenous shocks (which presumably wiped out the dinosaurs).  

Meeting Details (location: MIN 4.16)

Part I & II (Monday 9 October-Tuesday 10 October):

10:00-12:00 Lecture (with possibility of interval) given by Prof. Jean-Philippe Bouchaud
12:00-13:00 FREE lunch for all participants (please signup below)
13:00-15:00 Hands-on tutorials

Part III (Tuesday 10 October):

15:00-17:00 Lecture (with possibility of interval) given by Prof. Jean-Philippe Bouchaud
17:00-18:00 Drinks and networking

To attend the lecture (physically), please signup below before 15:00 on Thursday 5 October.

Start date and time
End date and time
Physical Meeting >> CCSS Living Room, Room 4.16, Minneartgebouw
Entrance fee