17 November 2016:

Hi -

Daniel Cicala points out the [math conference December 3rd and 4th at Union College](http://www.math.union.edu/%7Etoddg/ucc/) in upstate NY. There will be talks on category theory organized by Susan Niefeld - she does this every year, and I've spoken there once. If you can go, do it!

(If you read the category theory mailing list you can stay up to date on such conferences.)

Here is this week's progress:

1) Blake and I went to San Diego and learned about Metron's "ExAMS" software for designing complex systems. Then John Foley came up and, with help from Joseph Moeller, we figured out a bunch of stuff.

I blogged about ExAMS here:

* [Complex Adaptive System Design (Part 2)](https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2016/10/18/complex-adaptive-system-design-part-2/)

This software raises lots of interesting questions. I believe it's based on "timed hierarchical colored Petri nets with guards". I would like to make sure this is true, and understand this kind of network category-theoretically. In case anyone wants to help me, here's an intro:

* Wil M. P. van der Aalst, Christian Stahl, and Michael Westergaard, [Strategies for modeling complex processes using colored Petri nets](http://wwwis.win.tue.nl/%7Ewvdaalst/publications/p710.pdf).

When we met, Tom Mifflin at Metron seemed pretty eager for our work to go in this direction.

2) I went to the Mathematical Association of America conference and gave a talk on [The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything](http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/42/). Brandon and Daniel also went there.

3) I finally blogged about Brendan's thesis:

* [Open and interconnected systems](https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/open-and-interconnected-systems/).

As you can see, it's a lazy blog article - yet it still manages to give a detailed introduction to his work! If you haven't yet learned everything that Brendan is doing, this is a good place to start.