Guilin is a city famed throughout China for its beautiful scenery, considered to be the “finest under heaven”. The landscape in the region is instantly recognizable as either the setting, or at least the inspiration, for many classical Chinese paintings. The vast forest of steep-sided karst mountains surrounding the city creates a fantastical setting that has inspired many poets and painters. This was the venue for the fourth International Workshop on Complex Systems and Networks. Previous workshops had been convened annually in Bologna, Hong Kong and Vancouver.
This meeting is remarkable for its strong emphasis on a workshop format, at each event a select group of eminent speakers give tutorial and overview presentations of their own work within the broad field of complex systems and networks. The event this year was no exception to this tradition, and was also the largest such workshop, with an audience of around 220 students and researchers. Attendees were also welcome to submit poster presentations which were published along with the invited speakers' presentations. The twelve workshop lecturers came from Australia, Europe, North America and Asia and spoke on topics ranging from complex biosystems and synchronization to various applications with a particular emphasis on telecommunication and electronic systems.
International Workshop on Complex Systems and Networks, July 2007, Guilin, China
Lei-Han Tang (Hong Kong Baptist University) was the first speaker, and introduced the workshop audience to the study of structure and networks in metabolic pathways. While the various processes surveyed did not necessarily display scale-free behavior the great diversity of phenomena certainly exhibited a certain “Scale Richness”. In the same session Xiaofan Wang (Shanghai Jiaotong University) spoke about two-dimensional computation simulations of flocking and collective behavior in animals and Kenichi Yoshikawa (Kyoto University) presented a thought-provoking hypothesis for the mechanism underlying self-regulation of genetic information. These talks were followed by three further lectures presented by Chai Wah Wu (IBM TJ Watson Lab), Mario di Bernardo (University of Naples) and Wallace Tang (City University of Hong Kong), surveying the mechanisms responsible for synchronization of complex networks of coupled dynamical systems.
The talks on the second day focussed on various applications of complex systems, and exhibit a heavy emphasis on complex networks for communication: from novel coding techniques discussed by Francis Lau (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) to generation of optimal spreading sequences for Ultra-Wide Band communication by Gianluca Setti  (University of Ferrara) as well as talks on network traffic issues covered from a mathematical viewpoint by David Arrowsmith (Queen Mary London) and from observational approaches by Ljiljana Trajkovic (Simon Fraser University). David Hill (Australian National University) examined a few fundamental issues of synchronization in networks with special reference to applications in power networks. Finally, Maciej Ogorzalek (AGH University of Science & Technology)complemented these talks with a summary of recent developments in electronic devices, especially including fractal antennae. The technical program concluded with David Hill introducing the venue for next year's workshop: the spacious city of Canberra.
In addition to the broad technical program, the local organizers, under the able leadership of Prof. Luo Xiaoshu from Guangxi Normal University, were particularly industrious in organizing social activities for the conference attendees. These included a night tour of the city of Guilin and a full day excursion down the Li River through the breathtaking scenic mountain ranges of Guangxi to the small tourist town of Yangshuo. However, my own personal highlight of Guilin was sampling the local Guilin rice noodles. Served in soup with copious varieties (and quantity) of chillies these are usual enjoyed as a breakfast staple, but with some effort we found them available 24 hours a day: just the thing to wash down the local Liq beer.
Details of the workshop program and organization can be found in http://csn2007.eie.polyu.edu.hk.
Michael Small, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Email: ensmall@polyu.edu.hk)
International Workshop on Nonlinear Dynamics of Electronic Systems, Tokushima, Japan, July 2007
The 15th International Workshop on Nonlinear Dynamics of Electronic Systems (NDES 2007) was held during July 23-26, 2007, at the Shikoku University Community Plaza, Tokushima, Japan.
This conference aims to stimulate and enable scientists from all over the world to exchange knowledge and ideas in the field of nonlinear dynamics and its applications. Nonlinear phenomena are observed in diverse areas such as physics, biology, economics, ecology, electronics and computer science.
It is the first time that NDES is held in Japan. The place of the conference is Tokushima (Awa: old name of Tokushima)!! Tokushima is not very big nor very convenient in Japan. Do you know why Tokushima was selected as the conference place of NDES’07? Of course we know (we believe), in fact, there have been many famous researchers of nonlinear dynamics and circuits & systems. Furthermore, a big whirlpool can be observed in a channel of Tokushima. The whirlpools are occurred by coming and going of the tide and behave very complexly. So, people in Tokushima are familiar with complex phenomena in the field of natural science! Finally, fresh seafood caught off the Tokushima area is the source of energy to study the nonlinear dynamics. Namely, Tokushima is very nice and wonderful city for the conference NDES.
This year’s NDES!! First, high level technical program. After the attractive opening ceremony, we have two distinguished keynote speeches by Prof. Ogorzalek of Jagiellonian University and Prof. Kawakami of Tokushima University. The total number of papers is more than 100 including 8 invited talks. There are 12 lecture sessions and 2 poster sessions during 4 days.
We tried to do many events which have never happened before. We organized “Live-Demo Session” sponsored by the IEEE CASS Shikoku Chapter with the support of the IEEE CASS Region 10. In this session, more than 20 authors have demonstrated their experiments or/and computer simulations. By looking the real circuits, people have firsthand knowledge of real nonlinear behaviors.
The banquet was held in Japanese ENKAI style!! And people enjoyed “Awa dance.” The Awa dance is held in the city of Tokushima using the main downtown streets as a stage with a history of over 400 years. As the famous proverb says, “The dancing fool and the watching fool are both fools, so why not dance!” Finally, everyone has enjoyed dancing!!
NDES’07 was very exciting and very high level conference!! More photos are available at NDES’07 Website: http://ndes07.is.tokushima-u.ac.jp.
Next NDES is scheduled to be held in Nizny Novgorod, Russia in June 2008.
Yoko Uwate, General Secretary of NDES'07, Tokushima University (Email: uwate@ee.tokushima-u.ac.jp)