UC Riverside to play active role in Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter

RIVERSIDE, Calif., August 6, 2002 -- The University of California and a group of sister institutions recently announced the creation of the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter (ICAM) as an international, multicampus organization exploring the frontiers of science. UC Riverside is one of the founding branches of ICAM. The institute will be led by Los Alamos National Laboratory.

As an "institute without walls," ICAM will promote transdisciplinary collaborations between physical, chemical, and biological scientists around the world. It seeks to foster multidisciplinary endeavors where there is a two-way transfer of ideology and techniques. Topics for study will range from the mysteries of "mad cow" disease to self-assembling materials.

ICAM was conceived at a workshop at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico in December, 1998, and became an independent unit of the University of California in March, 1999, before evolving to its present international form. Starting July 1, 2002, ICAM became a Multicampus Research Program (MRP) in the UC system. Unlike most other UC MRPs, non-UC campuses can also join ICAM.

The university's ex-Chancellor Raymond Orbach and Douglas MacLaughlin, professor of physics, participated in the initial formation of ICAM. Ward Beyermann, associate professor of physics at UC Riverside, is on the Board of Governors for a term of three years. Prof. Robert Haddon of the departments of chemistry and chemical engineering at the university is a member of ICAM's Science Steering Committee.

Some of the areas of research already explored at ICAM workshops include the organizing principles that may be responsible for the folding of proteins and their association with illnesses such as Alzheimer's; the measurement and understanding of emergent behavior in high temperature superconductors; the emerging field of biological physics; and the development of measuring systems on the nanometer (one billionth of a

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

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