Colloquium on June 27, 2011

Cristián Huepe
Unaffiliated Research Scientist, Chicago

Dynamics of collective motion: from toy models to experiments

Animal groups, such as bird flocks, fish schools, or insect swarms, often exhibit complex, coordinated collective dynamics resulting from individual interactions. Despite recent progress, it is still unknown how simple individual rules can achieve such synchronized, scalable, robust, and fast-responding behavior. In this talk, I will overview some of the current efforts from a physicists perspective, focusing on two specific complementary approaches: A toy model based on adaptive networks, developed to capture the basic components of a generic swarming transition, and analyses of large datasets from recent experiments on fish schools, designed to unveil the effective interaction forces within groups.