Since I will be on the program committee for ECAL (European Conference for Artificial Life) 2015, I have been asked to publicize the call for papers, abstracts, and workshops. Here it is below — if interested, please consider submitting and attending:



“Embodiment, Interaction, Conservation”

The 13th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2015) will be held in York, United Kingdom, 20-24 July 2015, hosted by the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis at the The University of York.

ECAL2015 will showcase a wide range of topics in Artificial Life, bringing together world-leading researchers to discuss the latest advances in Artificial Life.  Artificial Life is an interdisciplinary field, and as such welcomes submissions from across the spectrum of scientific and humanities disciplines, that consider the main conference themes of “Embodiment, Interaction, Conservation”. 

THE ECAL programme committee invite you to submit full papers (8 pages) or abstracts (1 page) in the area of Artificial Life.  All submissions will undergo a detailed peer review process.  Full papers will be reviewed for relevance, scientific and/or engineering quality, sound methodology and use of appropriate analysis techniques. Abstracts will be reviewed for relevance and quality.

* I M P O R T A N T   D A T E S   &   I N F O R M A T I O N

Submission papers:    Monday 2nd March, 2015

Notification of Acceptance: Friday 17th April, 2015

Paper CRC required:    Monday 18th May, 2015

Main Conference convenes: 20-24 July, 2015

Contact email for queries:

* S U B M I S S I O N   F O R M A T

There are two options for submission: either full paper or abstract. Note that the format is exactly the same for both options. The only difference resides in the number of pages and type of contents:

* Full papers have an 8-page maximum length and should report on new, unpublished work

* Abstracts are limited to a 1-page length and can report on previously published work, but offer a new perspective on that work. We encourage the use of LaTeX for the production of papers. 

Submission will be via the Easy Chair system.

Papers and abstracts will be selected for oral or poster presentation, with no distinction being made between full papers and abstracts. 


General Chair: Prof Susan Stepney

Technical Chair: Prof Jon Timmis

Workshop Chair: Dr Simon Hickinbotham

Special Sessions Chair: Dr Leo Caves

Tutorial Chair: Dr Fiona Polack

Local Chair: Dr Paul Andrews

ISAL Summer School: Dr Rene Doursat

We look forward to seeing you in York in 2015!

If you are interested in complex systems, check out Complexity Explorer. Sponsored by the Santa Fe Institute. It features a series of MOOCs [1] and other educational resources. You can contribute your own materials as well. I am currently enrolled in the Mathematics for Complex Systems course, which surveys the topic from a gentle re-introduction to time series functions to dynamical systems and renormalization techniques.

Why are the inner mechanisms of spatial cognition so Nobel-worthy? In the Synthetic Daisies post “The Grids of Nobel”, you can find out more about why the neurophysiology behind finding your way around a space is so important. This involves specialized cells, mental representations, and ingenious experimental designs. More than simply an “inner GPS system”, this neural system provides the substrate for many different cognitive behaviors.

The hair of the map of the cat (not dog), indeed. Feynman once (and to the great consternation of neurophysiologists within earshot) referred to a feline brain atlas as the “map of the cat” (not to be confused with Arnold’s Cat Map).

This parable, of course, speaks to the role of jargon in science. I am generally in support of jargon-filled science, providing it serves to conceptually unify and serve as shorthand for complex phenomena. The problem occurs when it serves as a membership proxy into the high priesthood of Discipline x.

Far from making one sound like a drunken PoMo generator, jargon and highly-specialized language is sometimes an efficient information encoding scheme.

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