Thinking in a complex world: the nexus of art, technology and science

Julio Ottino 

Wednesdays@NICO Seminar, Noon, December 1 2010, Chambers Hall, Lower Level

Dean Julio Ottino, Northwestern University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Connectivity is changing all the rules. Complexity is the rule and creativity is the safeguard. Things that were disjoint combine leading to spectacular new results. Science merges with technology and new disciplines appear, technologies combine with other technologies, services merge with technologies, and services combine with other services. Thinking is augmented in new ways; technology serving art and contemporary art showing the world under new, sometimes unrecognizable, light. How do we develop people who are comfortable bridging and blurring these domains? This talk will focus on the evolution and lessons that may be transferred across art, science, and technology.


Julio M. Ottino is the Dean of McCormick School of Engineering; his research interests are in complex systems and nonlinear dynamics. He is member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2008 he was selected by AIChE as one of the “One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era”, and in 2010 he gave the 62nd Institute Lecture. Dr Ottino is also a painter ( and is currently working on a book about the creative processes connecting art, technology, and science.