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Categorical foundations of network theory

Some good news! Jacob Biamonte applied for and received a grant from the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) to have a small meeting for about 4 nights in Torino, Italy — at the ISI Foundation, where he works. The meeting will focus on the mathematical and conceptual foundations of network theory. The ISI Foundation has many researchers who work on traditional aspects of complex networks, so this is a pretty good location for it.

He invited Tobias Fritz, Eugene Lerman and David Spivak and me to speak, and it looks like most of us will be able to make it. We need to choose a time in the window from April 15 to June 1, 2015.

We should decide on what to do. Besides discussing and putting together our different ideas on network theory — the most important part — it might be good to have our talks videotaped and put on the web. Since our talks will be open to the public, maybe some other Azimuth members can show up.

Any other good ideas?

Each funded grant is required to deliver a 'product' and also to have a 'statement'. These, as taken from the application, are below.

Product: Network theory is a diverse subject which developed independently in several disciplines to rely on graphs with additional mathematical structure to model everything from complex systems to toy physical theories. The sessions will be aimed to further our understanding and also raise interest in the mathematical theory underlying the relations between seemingly different networked systems. We have a professionally maintained laboratory webpage (www.TheQuantumNetwork.org). We will deliver the following: (i) an event webpage for the sessions will be created; after the work sessions the webpage will contain (ii) slides of all talks; (iii) abstracts of all talks; and (iv) a list of attendees.

Statement: The intensive work sessions will enable FQXi members to meet with several other researchers and hence build leverage in an emerging and foundational field. Mathematical network theory explores the interplay and pinpoints the relationships between the use of networks ranging from e.g. ecological networks, tensor networks in quantum physics to even quantum constructor theory as a formal network theory. The sessions will be advertised and open to the public, and the invited speakers and local attendees should attract several researchers. It would otherwise not be possible using our existing resources.

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RE: putting the talks on youtube... It's in the works. I planned fully to aim for this. I'm pretty sure I can pull this off. We just need to find a good quality camera as we already have someone who knows how to edit. It's great stuff and thanks a ton John.

Comment Source:RE: putting the talks on youtube... It's in the works. I planned fully to aim for this. I'm pretty sure I can pull this off. We just need to find a good quality camera as we already have someone who knows how to edit. It's great stuff and thanks a ton John.
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edited May 2014

RE: putting the talks on youtube… It’s in the works.

Great!

One thing that's on my mind is the gap between the "academic" and "nonacademic" sides of the Azimuth Project. It's attracting academics who publish papers and run conferences... and nonacademics who program, blog and do research for the sheer love of it. It would be nice if there were more synergy between the two. I've been putting a lot of work into building up the academic side since, being an academic myself, I know my energy for Azimuth will falter if I don't make it part of my work. But I really like how it attracts nonacademics and I wish projects like this conference offered more for them too. They can attend... if they can get there. They can watch videos of the talks - that's great. But maybe there's more we can do to integrate the academics and nonacademics - not just for this conference, but in general.

Comment Source:> RE: putting the talks on youtube… It’s in the works. Great! One thing that's on my mind is the gap between the "academic" and "nonacademic" sides of the Azimuth Project. It's attracting academics who publish papers and run conferences... and nonacademics who program, blog and do research for the sheer love of it. It would be nice if there were more synergy between the two. I've been putting a lot of work into building up the academic side since, being an academic myself, I know my energy for Azimuth will falter if I don't make it part of my work. But I really like how it attracts nonacademics and I wish projects like this conference offered more for them too. They can attend... if they can get there. They can watch videos of the talks - that's great. But maybe there's more we can do to integrate the academics and nonacademics - not just for this conference, but in general.
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But maybe there’s more we can do to integrate the academics and nonacademics - not just for this conference, but in general.

Yes, that would be good. I think that the Azimuth coding projects offer a lot to talented coders who work in industry and elsewhere. At ISI, I think they do have some industrial partnerships for some of the groups (smart cities using sensors I think). I can talk to them and see what interests they have in this event. Also, it might be neat to hear from a few professionals quickly, relating to how they use network theory in industry.

Comment Source:> But maybe there’s more we can do to integrate the academics and nonacademics - not just for this conference, but in general. Yes, that would be good. I think that the Azimuth coding projects offer a lot to talented coders who work in industry and elsewhere. At ISI, I think they do have some industrial partnerships for some of the groups (smart cities using sensors I think). I can talk to them and see what interests they have in this event. Also, it might be neat to hear from a few professionals quickly, relating to how they use network theory in industry.