Vicky Su/Staff Photographer Researchers presented at the preconference workshop for the First Northeast Regional Conference on Complex Systems. The conference will continue on Thursday, April 12 and Friday, April 13.

Budding researchers discussed the newest ideas in complex systems science on Wednesday at a preconference workshop for the First Northeast Regional Conference on Complex Systems.

The workshop was held in anticipation of the regional conference, which kicks off on Thursday and will bring together complex systems researchers from across the Northeast.

Complex systems science focuses on investigating the relationships between a large system’s parts and how those relationships influence the system’s behavior. Additionally, complex systems researchers examine how the system interacts with its environment.

Ximeng Chen, a graduate assistant in systems science and a third-year graduate student studying public affairs, served as the general chair of the conference’s organizing committee. According to Chen, the preconference is designed to begin conversations between researchers.

“The preconference event is specifically targeted at young researchers, doctoral students [and] junior faculties, and it’s an open platform for people to talk to each other, communicate with each other, exchange ideas and see if there is any opportunity for collaboration in the future,” Chen said.

The conference, which will be held in the Innovative Technologies Complex, aims to bring together complex systems researchers and discuss new advancements and ideas in the field while facilitating professional growth and promoting collaboration within the research community. According to the conference’s website, the event is designed to be interdisciplinary and encourage scholarly exchange. Hiroki Sayama, a professor of systems science and industrial engineering at BU who works with Chen, said the conference is an opportunity for young researchers to interact with and learn from more experienced researchers.

“The key idea is that, when you go to conferences, there are lots of VIPs, established researchers [and] faculty who present cool stuff,” Sayama said. “Especially in the research area of complex systems science and data science, we really want to have younger generations take the lead.”

Five keynote speakers will attend the conference, including professors from Stony Brook University, Boston University and Pennsylvania State University. Their concentrations and research interests range from philosophy to biomedical engineering. Several other speakers will give shorter addresses throughout the event on topics like network resilience and the dynamics of relationships in social networks.

BU President Harvey Stenger will make opening remarks at the conference. Additionally, the winner of an award for the best student paper will be announced at the end of the event. Brennan Klein, a third-year graduate student studying network science at Northeastern University, helped Sayama organize the conference and said it will provide unique opportunities for students and young researchers.

“As this is a new conference on complex systems, we try to bring in people before complex system conferences who are generally more junior, who can learn a lot from expertise,” Klein said.

The conference will be held on Thursday, April 12 and Friday, April 13.