Science and Engineering of Natural Systems Group
We are all enmeshed in a variety of large-scale social, informational, and technological systems: consider the internet, the UK's National Health Service, or the global economy. When we try to create or alter these systems, they don't always behave the way we want them to. Traditional top-down design methodologies that work well in simpler cases run into trouble with both the complexity and the scale of such problems. New approaches are needed if we want to create information technology networks that are robust, scalable, and adaptable.
Biology gives us the best-known examples of complex systems with these kinds of properties. The organisation of cells in an animal, termites in a colony, or species in an ecosystem provide compelling models of what must be possible, and advances in biology are rapidly expanding our knowledge of living systems at all scales.
The Science and Engineering of Natural Systems (SENSe) group exploits the interface between technology and biology. It undertakes fundamental research into the science and engineering of computational methods that can further our understanding of biological and other natural systems, and also into the development and application of novel computational systems and techniques that are inspired by nature.
- Research staff from SENSe are involved in the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation, which hosts a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Complexity Science. Several 4-year PhD studentships are available to start in October 2010. The Institute's research activities address the critical new complex systems challenges that face science and society.
- SENSe has several positions open in Molecular Information Technology: contact Klaus-Peter Zauner.
- You can find out more about interdisciplinary research between computing and the life sciences at Southampton through the Bio@ECS virtual group and the Life Science Interface forum.