Funding boost helps maths researchers increase knowledge of complex networks

University news / Research news

Monday 24 February 2014

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Academics at Coventry University have secured funding to lead an international research project which will look at how mathematics can be used to unravel some of the complex patterns and structures that exist in life, literature and society.

The University’s Applied Mathematics Research Centre (AMRC) has secured almost £500,000 from the European Commission’s International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) to lead the Dynamics of and in Complex Systems (DIONICOS) network, a consortium of 19 top universities and research institutes from around the world.

The DIONICOS network, which includes partners from as far afield as the United States, Russia and India, will investigate the physics of complex networks to help shed light on the often complicated relationships that exist between objects and organisms.

In doing so, the DIONICOS researchers hope to increase knowledge of subjects ranging from the inner workings of biological systems to the intricate social structures that lurk within ancient manuscripts.

Dr Martin Weigel, reader in theoretical physics at Coventry University and a member of the DIONICOS network, said:

This international project that we’re leading will demonstrate how mathematical techniques and statistical physics can be applied to good effect in other disciplines like biology, literature and social studies.

We’re helping to bridge the gap between science, arts and the humanities and the funding we have received is a major boost for the project, which we think will have a positive impact on interdisciplinary research in the future.

The four year research project runs from February 2014 until January 2018. A meeting of the DIONICOS partners, at which research proposals and individual projects will be discussed will take place at Coventry University during the 39th Middle European Cooperation in Statistical Physics (MECO 39) later this year.  

This meeting of leading scientists from across the globe, sponsored by the likes of Marie Curie and the Royal Society of Chemistry, is coming to Coventry for the first time and will take place at the University’s city centre campus from Tuesday 8th to Thursday 10th April 2014.