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Complex Systems is a new field of science studying how parts of a system give rise to the collective behaviors of the system, and how the system interacts with its environment.

Jürgen Kurths

Current Chapman Chair 2016-

Jürgen Kurths is a German physicist and mathematician. He is a chair of the research domain Transdisciplinary Concepts of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, a Professor of Nonlinear Dynamics at the Institute of Physics at the Humboldt University, Berlin, and a 6th century chair for Complex Systems Biology at the Institute for Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology at Kings College of the Aberdeen University (UK). His research is mainly concerned with nonlinear physics and complex systems sciences and their applications to challenging problems in Earth system, physiology, systems biology and engineering.

Jürgen Kurths studied mathematics at the University of Rostock and got his PhD in 1983 at the GDR Academy of Sciences, followed by his habilitation in 1991 in theoretical physics at the University of Rostock. In 1991 in a special program of the Max-Planck-Society, he was selected as one of a few scientists from East Germany to become a director of a new working group and he has formed an internationally well-known group on nonlinear dynamics. In 1994 he got a full-chair on theoretical physics/nonlinear dynamics at the University of Potsdam. There he was also Dean of the Science Faculty (1996–1999), and established as the founding director the Interdisciplinary Centre for Dynamics of Complex Systems (1994–2008). He was the founding director of the Leibniz-Kolleg Potsdam (www.leibniz-kollegpotsdam.de/). In 2008 he was called to re-create the research domain Transdisciplinary Concepts at PIK and to bring complex systems perspectives into Earth system research and has become a Professor of Nonlinear Dynamics at the Institute of Physics at the Humboldt University, Berlin, and in 2009 a 6th century chair for Complex Systems Biology at the Institute for Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology at Kings College of the Aberdeen University (UK).

Research Impact

From time series analysis and its application to solar and stellar activity phenomena, his interest was drawn in the ’80s to complex systems and nonlinearity or chaos theory. Jürgen Kurths has been noted especially for his seminal contributions to new synchronization phenomena, recurrence, coherence resonance, measures of complexity and causality as well as dynamics and stability of complex networks. This is what later led him to do research on the basics of complex systems theory as well as applications to the Earth system, the human brain, the cardio-respiratory system and other systems which are characterised by a high degree of complexity and nonlinearity.

Jürgen Kurths maintains a large network of scientific collaborators and he has had more than 60 PhD students from about 20 countries and 30 of them have now tenured positions in various countries. He published more than 500 articles and 8 books. He is currently in the editorial board of more than 10 scientific journals, among them: CHAOS, Philosoph.Trans. Royal Soc. A, PLoS ONE, Europ. J. Physics ST, J. Nonlinear Science and Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics and of the Springer Series Complexity.

International scientific activities

Kurths has been a leader in many international scientific activities, including the presidency of the EGU Nonlinear Processes in Geosciences Division (2000–2005). His efforts to promote international collaboration led him to organise several large projects in EU and DFG and to become the speaker of an International Research Training Group on complex networks (DFG and Brazil) since 2011 (http://www.physik.hu-berlin.de/irtg1740/).

Prizes and Awards

Jürgen Kurths is an elected fellow of the American Physical Society (1999). He received an Alexander von Humboldt research award from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (India) in 2005. He has become a member of the Academia Europaea in 2010 and of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2012 and was bestowed with a Dr. honoris causa from the Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod in 2008 and one from the Chernishevsky University, Saratov. He is honorary professor at the University of Potsdam and guest professor at the Southeast University in Nanjing. He was awarded the Lewis Fry Richardson Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2013 (http://www.egu.eu/awards-medals/lewis-fry-richardson/2013/jurgen-kurths/).

The following excerpt is from Wikipedia.

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