The goal of this first BiIP retreat is to have an interdisciplinary gathering of people at the forefront of related disciplines to discuss items of mutual interest. We will be mainly focusing on the dynamics of control and information processing (whether emergent or algorithmic) that allow the actions of sub-components (cells, parts) to add up to a dynamic, adaptive, flexible control of shape and function:

  • Complex system dynamics and tools for its study
  • Modeling and control of self-assembly of shape
  • Dynamics of interaction of control systems with body sensors/effectors
  • Morphological computation
  • Theoretical tools for understanding pattern control, memory, and repair
  • Models for hybrid biological/engineered systems
  • Mapped vs. emergent algorithms for shape sensing and control

This is a day-long retreat of scientific presentations and discussions: we hope to (begin to) synthesize a mix of computational, biological, neuroscience, and robotics expertise towards these major questions:

  • What are the right paradigms for thinking about how biological systems maintain and adaptively control their form and function?
  • What does a good answer to this question (a useful model for dynamic, regulative morphostasis from collections of active elements) even look like?
  • What tools are appropriate for understanding the interplay between information-processing elements and “effectors” (nervous system vs. somatic organs), or for information-processing capabilities of tissues themselves?
  • What are the best systems for testing our models, and implementing our algorithms in artificial or biological organisms?
  • How to know when emergence vs. a directly-computed map (top-down vs. bottom-up control) is best (or how to recognize when it is being used)?


Website design: Daniel Lobo

Website content: Michael Levin

Administrative management: William Baga

Contact with questions or materials to be added to the site: Mike Levin