Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam is the founder and president of the New England Complex Systems Institute. He received his SB and PhD in physics from MIT in 1978 and 1984 respectively. His work explores the origins and impacts of market crashes, ethnic violence, military conflict and pandemics, analyzes social networks, as well as the bases of creativity, panics, evolution and altruism. His work on the causes of the global food crisis was cited as among the top 10 scientific discoveries of 2011 by Wired magazine. Dr. Bar-Yam has advised governments, NGOs, and corporations on using principles and insights from complex systems science to solve seemingly intractable problems. He is the author of two books: his textbook Dynamics of Complex Systems, which he has taught to over 2,000 graduate students, professionals and executives, and Making Things Work, which describes the use of complex systems science for solving problems in healthcare, education, systems engineering, international development, and ethnic conflict.
Graduate Seminar: Modeling Cyclone Risk and Seismic Building Vulnerability in Central America and the Caribbean
This seminar will introduce two research projects applied to the Country Disaster Risk Profiles initiative of the World Bank: a hurricane hazard model and a probabilistic seismic vulnerability tool (PSVT). The windstorm hazard model is a novel approach which yields characterizations of windstorm activity (rate of occurrence, trajectory and spatial wind field) in the Central American region for use in natural risk assessment. The generative mechanism of storms is formulated as a superposition of stochastic processes whose joint opera;on yields synthetic cyclones activity in the region. The outcomes of the model match observed data acceptably well. A brief reference to the risk estimation procedure will be offered. Vulnerability functions estimate building damage caused by an acting hazard intensity. The PSVT is a software tool for creating vulnerability functions for seismic risk analysis. The approach estimates structural response of user-defined models subjected to ground acceleration signals integrating the equations of motion. Ground signals are realizations of random process models of site–specific ground motion hazard.
Speaker: Dr. Gonzalo Pita
Adjunct Assistant Scientist, Department of Civil Engineering, Johns Hopkins University; Sr. Natural Risk and Vulnerability Specialist, The World Bank