Satellite: The Industrial Age and Thermodynamics; the Information Age and… What?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sheraton:  Rio Salado

Satellite Organizers

Martin Hilbert, University of California, Davis, USA
Jim Crutchfield, University of California, USA

Abstract

Human progress is intricately linked to technological progress, which is intricately linked to scientific understanding, which again influences the interpretation of social development. The first steam locomotives were up and running two decades before Carnot published his thermodynamic “Reflections” on the workings of steam engines in 1824. After thermodynamics was formulated as a formal theory, its basic principles started to influence the standard interpretation of the dominating socio-technological paradigm. Concepts like equilibrium, transformation of work, flow of energies and resources, and a vast array of related mathematical concepts were used as guiding metaphors and formal building blocks in the creation of social science theories aimed at explaining an emergent social system that was profoundly transformed by steam engines. Currently, information and communication technologies transform our lives in a similar way. Once again, the underlying theories were discovered in parallel with the creation of those technologies, including innovations in telecom networks, cryptographic coding machines, computers and formal algorithms. And once again, the emerging theories have an important influence on the way we interpret this social transformation. It is not surprising to hear laypeople and scientists alike suggesting that “the economy computes”, “democracy mediates information”, “globalization is one giant communication network”, and “culture executes algorithms”. Sometimes these analogies work better than other times. In order to obtain a deeper understanding, we have to go beyond mere metaphors.

This Session explores formal advancements in the application of information sciences to information societies. If we live in an “information age”, the related formal scientific theories must have something concrete to say about how to think about this. We call for papers that explore the explicit social application of theories, concepts, and mathematical tools developed in fields like information theory and computer science. We welcome papers that explore the application of such concepts to all branches of the social sciences, including economics, sociology, communication, political science, anthropology, and social psychology.

Satellite Session website:  http://csc.ucdavis.edu/InfoAge_CCS_2015.html

Schedule: SatSess_CCS15_What-InfoAge_Agenda

Abstracts: SatSessCCS15WhatInfoAgeTalkAbstracts

Speakers

New Horizons in Information Theory
Ryan James, University of California Davis, USA

Information Engines: History and Future Prospects
Alec Boyd, University of California Davis, USA
James Crutchfield, University of California Davis, USA
Dibyendu Mandal, University of California Berkeley, USA

Mind the Information Flow: Stochastic Processes on Cycle-Rich Random Graphs
Pierre-André Noël, University of California Davis, USA

Welcome to the New Millennium of Information
James Crutchfield, University of California Davis, USA

Information Transmission as the Fundamental Concept in Biology
Carl Bergstrom, University of Washington, USA

Inferring Volatility in the Heston Model and its Relatives-An Information Theoretical Approach
Oliver Pfante,
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Germany
Nils Bertschinger, MPI MIS, Germany

Understanding Finite Population Dynamics with Information Theory
Marc Harper, Covariant Consulting, USA

New tools for Dimensionality Reduction in Prediction
Sarah Marzen, University of California Berkeley, USA
James Crutchfield, University of California Davis, USA

The Marginal Value of Information in Noncooperative Games
David Wolpert, Santa Fe Institute, USA
Nils Bertschinger, MPI MIS, Germany
Eckehard Olbrich, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Germany

Maxwell’s Demon: Carnot’s Cycle for Information Engines?
Dibyendu Mandal, University of California Berkeley, USA
Alexander Boyd, University of California Davis, USA
James Crutchfield, University of California Davis, USA

The Informational Architecture Of The Cell
Sara I.Walker, Arizona State University, USA
Hyunju Kim, Arizona State University, USA
Paul Davies, Arizona State University, USA