For decades, research at the Center for the Ecological Study of Perception and Action (CESPA) has focused on the foundational role of self-organization in living systems. Our work, and indeed that of the field generally, has been dramatically impacted by the contributions of CESPA Fellow Rod Swenson. Rod’s work on autocatakinetic systems and the law of maximum entropy production (the “Fourth Law of Thermodynamcs”) provides fundamental insight into the origins and nature of living systems and particularly their cognitive, or perception-action, capabilities. In honor of Rod’s contributions to the field, we are establishing the Rod Swenson Graduate Fellowship (“Fund”).
The Fund will provide financial support for students affiliated with CESPA. These students will be enrolled in the Graduate School, pursuing basic experimental or theoretical research on the thermodynamically driven self-organization of living systems, and particularly their cognitive, or perception-action, capabilities, and demonstrate need and/or merit.