Science Café Cleveland presents


Harnessing the Power of a Swarm

A Collaboration between Ingenuity Festival and Science Cafe Cleveland



JULY 13, 2009





Dr. Dan Palmer

(Computer Science, John Carroll University)




Mr. Dave Williams





Mr. Kal Ivanov

(Biology, Cleveland State University)




For most people, the word “swarm” conjures a mental image of millions of insects moving en masse from one place to another. Although some insects do swarm, they aren’t the only things that do. In fact, many important human activities – such as air travel and sending packages – can be modeled using swarms and the properties that emerge from the individual actions of swarm members. The challenge is figuring out exactly how such emergent properties arise, and how they can be integrated into programs to make the activities of humans (and robots) more efficient. 

Come to this month’s café to discuss swarms and swarming behavior from mathematical, biological, and applied perspectives, and to think about how swarm behavior can be used to help us better meet the challenges of everyday life! The diverse backgrounds of our experts should make for an engaging and interesting discussion.
This café is being held in conjunction with the Ingenuity Festival, and is 
one of three related events:

1. Pre-activity discussion: 7 pm, Mon., June 29th, Bodega (1854 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Hts.)

2. Participatory human swarming activity at 
Ingenuity Festival: 3 pm, Saturday and Sunday, July 11th and 12th

3. Science Café Cleveland post-activity discussion on July 13th (our regular day)

Feel free to participate in as many or as few of these events as you like!




If you have a few minutes, you can "prepare your mind" for the café by checking out these articles from Scientific American:

When Grasshoppers Go Biblical: Serotonin Causes Locusts to Swarm

How Locust Loners Form a Swarm




Date: July 13, 2009
Time: Drinks start at 6:30 PM, discussion starts around 7:00 PM
Location: Tasting Room, Great Lakes Brewing Company (2701 Carroll Ave, Cleveland)


Click here to download a pdf flyer for your office!