Statistical mechanics has proven to be a very fruitful framework to describe phenomena outside the realm of traditional physics. The last years have witnessed the attempt by physicists to study phenomena which heavily rely on human behavior, like the dynamics of financial markets and the emergence of collective organization in social systems.
Social interactions are usually local: every individual interacts with a limited number of its peers, which is negligeable as compared with the total number of people inside a community. In spite of that, human societies are characterized by a number of stunning global regularities. There are remarkable transitions from disorder to order, like the emergence of a common language/culture or the creation of a consensus about a specific topic.
The conference, which is held in the beautiful city of Erice (Italy) from 14 to 19 July 2007, will specifically focus on three major research lines, i.e. opinion dynamics, dynamics in human language and the statistical physics of language dynamics.
The school will not only feature lectures by top people in the field, but also an atelier (starting on July the 14th) on "Modeling Language Emergence with Construction Grammar" (by Luc Steels).
The tentative schedule is as follows: The tutorials for the atelier will start on Saturday 14 July. The main school program will start on Sunday 15 afternoon and the end is foreseen for Thursday 19 July. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their own work during poster sessions.
LOGISTICS: Participants only to the main school are expected to arrive on July the 14th (while people willing to attend also the tutorials for the atelier are expected to arrive on the evening of July the 13th) and leave in the evening of July the 19th or else the next morning of July the 20th (Friday).
TRANSPORTS: The trasfers from/to the airports (Palermo or Trapani) to/from Erice are organized by the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Center For Scientific Culture. A shuttle will pick up the participants at the airport and bring to Erice. Please make sure that you sent to us the coordinates of your arrival and departure (airport, date, time, flight number). If not please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACCOMODATION: Accomodation will be provided by the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Center For Scientific Culture only for the nights from July the 13th to July the 19th. Also in this case make sure that you communicated to us the dates of your stay.