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Seminar: FuturICT – Global Participatory Computing for Our Complex World

Seminar: FuturICT – Global Participatory Computing for Our Complex World

Dirk Helbing

Professor of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulation at ETH Zurich

Dirk Helbing is Professor of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulation at ETH Zurich since 2007. Before he was Managing Director of the Institute for Transport & Economics at Dresden University of Technology, Germany, where he was appointed full professor for Traffic Modeling and Econometrics in 2000. Helbing studied physics and mathematics at the University of Göttingen (D), and completed his doctoral thesis at Stuttgart University (D). For his PhD thesis on modeling social processes by means of game-theoretical approaches, stochastic methods and complex systems theory, he was awarded two research prizes. In 1996, he received a Heisenberg scholarship following the completion of his habilitation on traffic dynamics and optimization. From 1997 on, he spent two years altogether at international research institutions in various countries.

In 2008, Professor Helbing was elected as a member of the prestigious German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). He has organized several international conferences and has edited special issues on material flows in networks and on cooperative dynamics in socio-economic or traffic systems. Professor Helbing has given numerous public talks and published more than 250 papers, including several contributions to high-impact journals like Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). In addition, he heads the Physics of Socio-Economic Systems of the German Physical Society (DPG), is member and the co-founder of the ETH Risk Center, and scientific leader of the FuturICT flagship project. Prof. Helbing has also been recently appointed as member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems.
Date: 18 January 2013

Time: 3pm – 4pm

Venue: Lecture Room 5, Level 3, Nanyang Executive Centre

Address: 60 Nanyang View, Singapore 639673


The ultimate goal of the FuturICT flagship project is to understand and manage complex, global, socially interactive systems, with a focus on sustainability and resilience. Revealing the hidden laws and processes underlying societies probably constitutes the most pressing scientific grand challenge of our century and is equally important for the development of novel robust, trustworthy and adaptive information and communication technologies (ICT), based on socially inspired approaches.

Integrating ICT, Complexity Science and the Social Sciences will create a paradigm shift, facilitating a symbiotic co-evolution of ICT and society. Data from our complex globe-spanning ICT system will be leveraged to develop models of techno-socio-economic systems. In turn, insights from these models will inform the development of a new generation of socially adaptive, self-organized ICT systems.

FuturICT as a whole will act as a Knowledge Accelerator, turning massive data into knowledge and technological progress. In this way, FuturICT will create the scientific methods and ICT platforms needed to address planetary-scale challenges and opportunities in the 21st century. Specifically, FuturICT will build a sophisticated simulation, visualization and participation platform, called the Living Earth Platform. This platform will power Crisis Observatories, to detect and mitigate crises, and Participatory Platforms, to support the decision-making of policy-makers, managers, and citizens.