2020 – Online

Coinciding with the Conference on Complex Systems, and profiting from the opportunity offered by the presence of a wide variety of experts in different topics, we are organising one-day school for PhD students and early-stage researchers. The school is an informal one-day event that offers early-stage scientists the opportunity to learn about the scientific and life experience of young and senior researchers, try their skills in a data visualisation and have fun playing the specifically tailored online trivia.

This year, due to a worldwide pandemic situation, the school is going to be to be held online on December 4, 2020, before the main CCS conference. The school consists of two non-scientific lectures from young scientists, ask me anything session with a prominent senior researcher, data visualisation contest and an online pub quiz. The sessions will be divided by informal coffee breaks, where participants may chatter with their peers, as in a “normal” face-to-face meeting.

Important details

The registration is open and available here. Participation is
— free for CCS’2020 participants and yrCSS members [(see About / yrCSS Bylaws for definition)];
— 10 EUR, otherwise.

In order to get your free ticket, please send us an email with the proof of CCS’2020 registration or with your full name and the date of the PhD defense to yr.cssociety@gmail.com.

We also offer registration fee waivers! If you would like to obtain one and participate for free, please apply via this form by Nov 15th.

For further information please write us at yr.cssociety@gmail.com


Friday, Dec 4th :: CET time (+1 GMT)

12:45 – The Start of the Warm-up :: welcome speech
13:00 – Lecture :: Massimo Stella :: On what it’s like to do consulting as a complex systems researcher?
13:45 – Coffee Break :: Breakout rooms
14:00 – Tutorial :: Jelena Grujic :: On how to give a proper talk
15:00 – Coffee Break :: Breakout rooms
15:15 – Ask Me Anything :: Steven H. Strogatz :: On the career, teaching and popsci
16:00 – Coffee Break :: Breakout rooms
16:15 – Data visualisation contest :: results
16:30 – Online pub quiz
17:30 – The End of the Warm-up

Ask Me Anything

Steven H. Strogatz is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. He works in the areas of nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, often on topics inspired by the curiosities of everyday life. He loves finding math in places where you’d least expect it—and then using it to illuminate life’s mysteries, big and small. He has received numerous awards, among the latest are the Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellowship — Cornell’s highest teaching prize — and the George Pólya Prize for Mathematical Exposition. Besides research, his popular science articles have appeared in the New York Times, Wired, Quanta and in many other magazines, and his recent book, Infinite Powers, became a New York Times bestseller.


Jelena Grujic is a physicist working in Game Theory, Complex Networks and Complex systems in general. Science communication is her big passion. She was an author of Science Festival exhibitions (in Belgrade and Brussels), participated in science communication competitions (such as FameLab), organized public events (such as DataBeers Brussels) and even briefly worked for a Science Department of National Serbian TV station. She gave numerous public talks and helped many people improve their public speaking skills.

Massimo Stella is an independent consulting expert in Complex Systems, founder of Complex Science Consulting. He graduated cum laude in Physics at University of Salento, Italy, and has an integrated Master of Science and a PhD in Complex Systems Simulation from the University of Southampton, UK. He is also alumnus of the Santa Fe Institute and Member of the Institute of Physics.

In 7 years of experience in research as network scientist, he designed new multi-layer network models for predicting cognitive processes like language learning and progressive cognitive impairments. He also worked on semantic network analysis and automatic language processing for social media.

Data visualisation contest


Always been a fan of neat and accurate graphs that reflect the reality? Default stylesheets in Powerpoint make you nauseous? Wanted to design your own style like xkcd? We announce the data visualisation competition where you can show the world what you got! Terms are as simple as 1-2-3:

  1. Create an image visualisation of one of the datasets proposed below, highlighting as many data aspects as possible and in an eye-friendly manner;
  2. Submit the .pdf of your visualisation using this form;
  3. Get a chance to share the prize pot worth of 400€!

Our judges will assess the works based on informativeness of the presented data and visual attractiveness of the visualisation. We expect the work to be a single image with no size constraints but with as many panels as you want (keep balance, overloading is bad for visual attractiveness). Best artworks will be presented during the event.

Special nomination

When our world is striving for exceptional beauty in everything, we decided to go the opposite way! We have a special nomination for the most ugly data visualisation (totally separate from the main contest)! Disregard the colourblind, disproportionate plots or use Comic Sans – everything you can imagine to be a no-no turns to yes-yes! Please submit your works using this form to race for this nomination. 



These are two .csv files with data representing business types that are very common in each of Seattle’s and New York City’s neighbourhoods with a lot of categorical data.



The Historical Light Aids to Navigation dataset “shows the development of historical lighthouses, lightships, harbour lights and beacons in England and Wales for several benchmark years between 1514-1911”, drawn from navigational charts, government publications, and other sources. For each of the 600+ entries, the dataset provides the light aid’s name, geo coordinates, and (when available) its visibility range, height, and number of lights.



We would love to see your artworks until November 15, 2020 (sharp deadline) November 30, 2020 (sharpest deadline).

Online Pub quiz

A live trivia quiz with questions from Complexity Science where Warm-Up participants join online and get the chance to win prizes. The questions are multiple-choice, short, and fun. No preparation required; join from a web browser or mobile app, answer questions synchronously with everyone, and climb higher on the live scoreboard!


Sofia Teixeira
Matteo Cinelli
Tomasz Raducha
Chico Camargo
Furkan Gursoy
Alexey Medvedev