Tom’s Oxford mini-tour

oxfordOne of the awesome things about my job is that I get to travel around and talk to people about the stuff I love (read “bore people by ranting about a niche interest”). This week I am in Oxford and I will be giving two talks tomorrow (10 February 2016). So if you are in the neighbourhood and are prepared to be talked to about networks and Romans, come along!

At 1pm I will give a talk at the Institute of Archaeology as part of the Roman Discussion Forum seminar series. The talk is called “Introducing MERCURY: an agent-based network model of ceramic distribution for studying Roman economic integration”. You can get the slides here.

At 5pm I will give a talk at Corpus Christi college as part of their classics seminar series. The talk is called ” The potential of network science for archaeology illustrated through a network study of the Roman economy”. You can get the slides here.

Livestream Crabtree seminar Tuesday

crabtree_webNext Tuesday (21-01-2014) Stefani Crabtree will give a talk entitled ‘A Tale of Two Villages: How Food Exchange Led to Aggregation in the American Southwest’ in the Archaeological Computing Research Group here in Southampton. This talk will be livestreamed via this URL, so no reason not to watch this promising talk! Stef’s work will be of interest to all of us who love their networks, adore agent-based-modelling, have a passion for the archaeology of the US Southwest … or those who just enjoy a great talk by an inspiring researcher.


When? Tuesday 21 January 2014 5pm GMT
Where? Southampton and online!
Livestream URL
Stefani’s abstract is attached below, and have a look at the poster for her talk by clicking on the image above.

Want to know more about the research done at the Archaeological Computing Research Group? We’ve been pretty good in sharing our work on our group’s blog lately, so check it out there!

In this talk I use computer simulation to explore the extent to which food-sharing practices would have been instrumental for the survival of Ancestral Pueblo people across the patchy landscape of the Prehispanic American Southwest. Social networks would have created stable bonds among these exchanging individuals, further helping the survival of those individuals and their progeny. Specifically, I engage Sahlins’s notion of balanced reciprocal exchange networks (BRN; when unrelated individuals rely upon reputation building to inform exchange relationships) within the experimental test-bed of the Village Ecodynamics Project’s agent-based simulation.

Complexity in the Big History

I just saw this TED talk by David Christian that might be of interest to readers of this blog. It’s about the emergence of complexity, and events in long-term history that bring about complexity. It gives an intriguing large-scale picture of the evolution of the universe backed up by beautiful animations. David Christian says collective learning is what makes humans different, and it’s cool to see that this talk itself is a direct result of collective scientific efforts, popular agreement and collective learning.

Check out the talk here, and visit the Big History project here.

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