Meeting Speaker Len Troncale: The New Field of Systems Mimicry: Would Evidence from the Natural Sciences Help Design Better Systems?
Abstract: The sciences study natural phenomena using experimental methods. Their evidence and discoveries are widely used in engineering design and implementation. This talk proposes to use their vast data to establish a new specialty called “systems mimicry.” This new knowledge base would provide tested, evidence-based solutions to the challenges that all systems face whatever their scale or particular function. The talk will describe the features of systems mimicry and suggest a new tool to explore its data for designing on the systems-level. It will list similarities and differences between the established biomimicry and the proposed systems mimicry. It will outline how general theories of systems like SPT (Systems Processes Theory) can provide a stimulus for adding the general systems focus to conscious SE praxis and provide a framework for integrating the unintegrated results of several systems science and natural science knowledge bases. Five possible examples of use of systems mimicry in systems design will be presented as case studies (use of hierarchies in materials design; chaos & robotics; using principles of exaptation in design; use of systems evolutionary algorithms; and use of awareness of systems pathology. The talk will end by suggesting a wider, future vision of systems design and SE.
Bio: Dr. Len Troncale is Professor Emeritus of Cell and Molecular Biology, and past Chairman of the Biology Department at California State Polytechnic University. He is also Founder/Director Emeritus of the Institute for Advanced Systems Studies, and Coordinator of its NSF-supported Systems Integrated Science General Education (ISGE) Program. He has served as VP and Managing Director of the International Society for General Systems Research (SGSR) from 1980-88, and President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), in 1990. He still serves on the Board of Trustee’s for ISSS. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR) from 1982-85 and a Research Associate at the Int’l Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria. He has served as Visiting Professor at CSU, Monterey Bay and CSU, Sonoma, as well as the University of Vienna. He is currently serving as VP/Managing Director of the new professional society, ISSP, Int’l Society for Systems Pathology. He is also Project Lead for two projects of the Systems Science Working Group (SSWG) of INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering). Dr. Troncale has published 120 articles, abstracts, editorials and reports, served as Editor on 11 projects, delivered 125 invited and computerized presentations and demo’s in 23 countries and served as P.I. on 52 grants and contracts for $5.3M from a variety of federal, state, and private organizations such as the NSF, DOE, ONR, HUD, HHMI and Keck Foundations, the Wilson Trust, and the CSU System. He is the Author of Systems Processes Theory, and Systems Pathology Theory (as well as new spin-off specialties such as Systems Allometry, Systems Mimicry, and SysInformatics). In Systems Biology his specialties are Evolution of Cell Division, Cell Differentiation Models, chromosome territories, and the nuclear matrix (nucleoskeleton). He is currently President of GSRDC (General Systems Research, Development, and Consulting) and a Lecturer, for the new Masters in Systems Engineering Program, College of Engineering, California State Polytechnic University.