23 November 2016:

Lots of progress this week:

1) Jason [uploaded his thesis to the arXiv](https://arxiv.org/abs/1611.07591)! That's great, because it establishes priority - now he can prove he did this stuff before anyone else, even if it takes a while for him to publish a paper.

2) Blake gave a talk about open chemical reaction networks at the Santa Fe Institute workshop on [Statistical Mechanics, Information Processing and Biology](http://www.santafe.edu/gevent/detail/science/2452/):

* [Compositional frameworks for open systems](https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/compositional-frameworks-for-open-systems/).

It was a real hit. [Susanne Still](http://www2.hawaii.edu/%7Esstill/) said it was "great" - she works on Markov processes and the information bottleneck method for predictive inference. [Jim Crutchfield](http://csc.ucdavis.edu/%7Echaos/) liked it so much he invited Blake to give a talk up at U. C. Davis! He's a real bigshot: the Wikipedia article on him says

> Over the last three decades Prof. Crutchfield has worked in the areas of nonlinear dynamics, solid-state physics, astrophysics, fluid mechanics, critical phenomena and phase transitions, chaos, and pattern formation. His current research interests center on computational mechanics, the physics of complexity, statistical inference for nonlinear processes, genetic algorithms, evolutionary theory, machine learning, quantum dynamics, and distributed intelligence. He has published over 100 papers in these areas.

If Blake can strike up a relationship with Crutchfield and maybe work on a project, that'll be excellent.

3) [Joshua Tan](http://www.joshuatan.com/research/), a grad student at Oxford (and friend of Brendan), invited me to join a bunch of people in writing a grant proposal.

It's for an NSF grant called "[Smart & Connected Communities](https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16610/nsf16610.htm#pgm_desc_txt)", and part of the plan would be to model cities as composable, open systems using category theory. Here are the other people involved in writing the proposal:

* Dennis Frenchman is a professor at MIT and an expert in building digital tools for cities. He is the likely PI.

* Sokwoo Rhee is a director at NIST managing 100+ smart cities projects and will be collaborating directly with us, but he is a silent partner due to federal rules.

* Stephen Walter is a program director at the City of Boston, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics.

* Matthew Claudel is a student of Dennis' who has been working with me to write the proposal. His research is in urban innovation.

* Possibly: Eric Gordon, a professor at the Engagement Lab at Emerson College, who works on civic participation.

* Other personnel attached to the project include Elizabeth Christoforetti (Harvard, MIT urban planner) and Nissia Sabri (startup, hardware specialist).

This would be a great step toward my ultimate goal: using network theory for studying complex systems like biological systems and designing systems to deal with climate change.