In 2018, LSA alum Patrick Kwan and his wife Yvonne Yiu donated $250,000 to the Center for the Study of Complex Systems to develop the "Mr. Patrick Kwan and Ms. Yvonne Yiu Complex Systems Post-Doctoral Fellowship Fund"

Patrick Kwan is an LSA alum who was inspired by the stimulating academic environment he experienced as an undergraduate honors computer science and economics student - and by the solid foundation LSA provided for him to address many real-world, systems challenges in the fields of banking, finance, and operations management over the course of his career. Mr. Kwan and Ms. Yiu recognize the many exciting intellectual and practical problems that the discipline of complex systems seeks to address, and wanted to support the growth and development of the study of complex systems at the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at LSA. They also recognize that recruiting top-tier talent to the center is a critical factor in enabling the center to achieve future growth and success. To that end, the Fund is intended to equip CSCS with resources to help recruit, hire, and retain the best post-doctoral fellows to the center and enable them to do cutting edge research. An endowed post-doctoral fellowship fund will help raise the public visibility of the center, both on campus and in the academic field of complex systems.

CSCS is incredibly grateful to Patrick and Yvonne for this generous donation.  In the year since the fund was initiated, the The Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSCS) postdoctoral fellows have greatly benefitted from the Kwan/Yiu fund which has allowed them to participate in research conferences and professional development workshops over the past ten months. 

In March and August 2019, CSCS postdocs traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico to participate in the bi-annual “SFI Postdocs in Complexity” Conferences. Mitchell Newberry, Lynette Shaw, Jean-Gabriel Young and Luis Zaman were able to interact, develop ideas and meet as peers with a broad and diverse community of other world-class scholars such as the Omidyar and James S. McDonnell Fellowship (JSMF) postdocs at the same career stage. They also benefited from excellent career development workshops otherwise not available to them. As Mitchell Newberry states, “the Kwan/Yiu gift helps strengthen our ongoing relationships with the Santa Fe Institute and the JSMF fellows and keeps our science fun, collaborative and informed. Thank you!”

In addition to the March SFI conference, Lynette Shaw received support from the Kwan/Yiu fund to present a paper at the American Sociological Association annual meeting and attend two other SFI workshops including one on “Shapes and Shaping of Consensus.”

Luis Zaman used Kwan/Yiu funds to present a paper at an astrobiology conference called AbSciCon 2019 “Understanding and Enabling the Search for Life on Worlds Near and Far” held in Seattle, Washington in June. We are pleased to report that at the end of the summer, Luis transitioned from a postdoctoral fellowship at CSCS to become Assistant Professor of Complex Systems and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at the University of Michigan.

Finally, Mitchell Newberry received support from the Kwan/Yiu funds to attend additional SFI workshops including the “Graduate Workshop on Computational Social Science” held in June.