- Currently an Associate Professor in Complex Systems, ARC DECRA Fellow and SOAR Fellow at The University of Sydney.
- Previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, and CSIRO ICT Centre, Sydney.
- 10 years as a Research Engineer in industry, predominantly in mobile applications R&D.
- Ph.D. in Information Technology at The University of Sydney, co-supervised at CSIRO.
- Tertiary qualifications in Engineering, Physics and Computer Science.
- 70+ peer-reviewed publications in academic journals, refereed conferences and books (including in A*-ranked PRL, Chaos, J. Neuro and Optics Lett.).
- Over 2800 citations; h-index of 32 (Google scholar).
- Lead author of open-source toolkit JIDT, for information-theoretic analysis of complex systems.
- Four Best Paper/Presentation awards since 2011.
- Recently awarded for innovative teaching, along with excellent teaching evaluations, and strong record of supervising successful student research projects.
- Doctor of Philosophy in Information Technology, University of Sydney, 2006-2010 (awarded November 26, 2010).
"The local information dynamics of distributed computation in complex systems" - see Research Statement for more details below.
This Ph.D. was supervised by Dr. Mikhail Prokopenko at CSIRO's ICT Centre, and Prof. Albert Zomaya at the School of Information Technologies.
- Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Higher Education), University of Sydney, 2016.
- Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical - Information Systems) (Honours Class I and the University Medal), University of Sydney, 1996-2000.
Honours Thesis (supervised by Dr. Graham Town): "Applications of Holey Fibre: Splicing, Spot-size conversion and Coupling" (2000)
- Bachelor of Science (Advanced), University of Sydney, 1996-1998.
Majors: Physics and Computer Science.
My primary research interest lies in the information dynamics of distributed computation in complex systems.
The physics or nature of distributed computation has long been of interest in complex systems, artificial life, bioinformatics and computational neuroscience.
Systems in all of these domains are often described in terms of memory, communication or signalling and processing.
By describing and quantifying distributed computation in these terms, with particular attention to their dynamics, then we can better understand computation in natural and man-made systems, and their sources of complexity.
This also allow us to answer meaningful questions about computation in complex systems; e.g. when and how much information is transferred between two brain regions.
I am also exploring how this approach can provide insights on how to better design distributed complex systems.
I have produced a framework to quantitatively define each of these distributed operations on information during computation.
Formally they are information storage, transfer and modification, and collectively referred to as information dynamics.
They are measured information-theoretically, and are called dynamics since they are studied on a local scale in space and time.
I have introduced new measures including the active information storage, localised existing measures including the transfer entropy, and compared to other related measures including causal information flow (see papers [11,17,19,31,35,44,48] below).
Importantly, the framework has provided quantitative evidence for several long-held conjectures regarding distributed computation in theoretical systems, such as the roles of emergent structures in cellular automata [11,17,19,31,35,44,48].
I have also studied whether these computational properties are maximised in order-chaos phase transitions [13,21,25,26,30,54].
Further, I have produced a Java toolkit to implement the measures , and applied them to study computation in models of gene regulatory networks [13,25,26], artificial life systems [12,15], and in computational neuroscience [20,38,45,46,49,53,57,60,62,63,66], with insightful results in each domain.
The existing work shows the approach is theoretically sound and has strong potential for making inroads for complex systems science into many disciplines.
Currently I am interested in how the physical structure of complex networks relates to their computational capabilities [21,23,26,33,56,59,65]. For example, I have found that ordered networks tend to be biased towards information storage behaviour, random networks tend to be biased towards information transfer behaviour, while small-world networks exhibit something of a balance between these operations [26,33].
I am also concentrating on applications to complex networks in computational neuroscience [20,38,45,46,49,53,57,60,62,63,66], e.g. examining task-based differences in spatiotemporal information transfer patterns in brain imaging data .
I have successfully collaborated on this work with researchers from, e.g., the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, CSIRO ICT Centre, The University of Sydney, Goethe University, Indiana University, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Osaka University, University of Delaware, and Doshisha University.
Academic research/teaching positions
Associate Professor (Jan 2019 to present), and
ARC DECRA Fellow (Jul 2016 to Jun 2019), and
Senior Lecturer (Jan 2015 to Dec 2018)
The University of Sydney (Jan 2015 to present).
I am a member of the Complex Systems Research Group, where my work investigates how information is manipulated in complex systems and networks, with applications to computational neuroscience. This is primarily conducted through my ARC DECRA Fellowship. Read more about my current research in my Research Statement above, and at http://lizier.me/joseph/.
I also lecture in the Complex Systems Program, including CSYS5010 Introduction to Complex Systems (2017-) and CSYS5030 Self-Organisation and Criticality (2017-), and previously in the Project Management Program, including PMGT5875 Project Innovation Management (2015-16).
Research Scientist (Jul 2014 to Jan 2015), and
Postdoctoral Fellow (May 2012 to Jun 2014)
CSIRO Digital Productivity and Services / Computational Informatics / ICT Centre, Sydney (May 2012 to Jan 2015).
Based in Dr. Oliver Obst's Data Mining team,
my work focussed on the use information-theoretic measures in machine learning and complex systems, e.g. applications in health diagnosis, complex networks and computational neuroscience.
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig, Germany (Dec 2010 to May 2012).
Based in Prof. Juergen Jost's Dynamical Systems and Network Analysis, and Cognition and Neurosciences groups, my postdoctoral work sought to investigate how information is manipulated in complex networks, harnessing the expertise at MPI regarding dynamical systems, complex networks, synchronisation, information theory and computational neuroscience. My investigations here were quite productive, producing new insights into how network structure relates to computational properties (see Research Statement above).
Senior R&D Engineer (part-time)
Seeker Wireless (Dec 2006 to Oct 2010).
I worked in the R&D team for the SIM toolkit client-side component of Seeker's mobile handset location solution. This included prototype work for new features, development on the production code-base, testing and investigation of specific handset compatibility issues, development of automatic build and deployment tools, and some Java web application development.
Senior Research Technologist (Feb 2004 to Jan 2006), and
Research Technologist (Jan 2001 to Feb 2004)
Telstra Research Laboratories (Jan 2001 to Jan 2006).
My role at TRL covered a wide variety of technologies, in particular service management, mobile telecommunications and XML web services. I was involved across all research activities including prototype development, consulting on emerging technologies, product trials and vendor evaluations. My roles in these projects ranged from regular team member to technical lead and project leader.
See details of student research project supervisions below at Academic skills and outcomes.
Casual Academic Tutor
Department of Computing, and Department of Electronics, Macquarie University (Aug 2006 to Nov 2006).
ELEC116 - Introduction to Electronic Systems (for 1st year students)
COMP333 - Algorithm Theory and Design (for 3rd year students)
My duties as a tutor in these courses involved running weekly tutorials with mini-lectures, laboratories, and marking of assignments. I received outstanding teaching evaluations, which are available on request.
School of Electrical and Information Engineering, The University of Sydney (Jul to Nov 2000).
ELEC1102 - Foundations of Electrical Circuits (for 1st year students)
My duties as a tutor involved running weekly 2 hour mini-lecture/tutorials for classes of 60 students, as well as marking of weekly assignments.
See and download all publications (plus abstract-only work) at http://lizier.me/joseph/publications/.
See also my list of presentations on these publications at http://lizier.me/joseph/presentations/.
A selection of publications is as follows: (show all)
- C. Finn and J.T. Lizier, "Pointwise Information Decomposition Using the Specificity and Ambiguity Lattices", Entropy, vol. 20, no. 4, p. 297, 2018.
- T. Bossomaier, L. Barnett, M. Harré, J.T. Lizier, "An Introduction to Transfer Entropy: Information Flow in Complex Systems", Springer, Cham, Switzerland, 2016.
- J.T. Lizier, "JIDT: An information-theoretic toolkit for studying the dynamics of complex systems", Frontiers in Robotics and AI, vol. 1, no. 11, 2014.
- M. Wibral, R. Vicente and J.T. Lizier, editors, "Directed information measures in Neuroscience", published in Understanding Complex Systems series, vol. 93, Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, 2014.
- M. Wibral, J.T. Lizier, S. Voegler, V. Priesemann and R. Galuske, "Local active information storage as a tool to understand distributed neural information processing", Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, vol. 8, no. 1, 2014.
- L. Barnett, J. T. Lizier, M. Harré, A. K. Seth, and T. Bossomaier, "Information flow in a kinetic Ising model peaks in the disordered phase", Physical Review Letters, vol. 111, no. 17, 177203, 2013.
- J.T. Lizier, F. M. Atay and J. Jost, "Information storage, loop motifs and clustered structure in complex networks", Physical Review E, vol. 86, no. 2, 026110, 2012.
- X. R. Wang, J. M. Miller, J.T. Lizier, M. Prokopenko and L. F. Rossi, "Quantifying and Tracing Information Cascades in Swarms", PLoS ONE, vol. 7, no. 7, e40084, 2012.
- J.T. Lizier, M. Prokopenko and A.Y. Zomaya, "Local measures of information storage in complex distributed computation", Information Sciences, vol. 208, pp. 39-54, 2012.
- J.T. Lizier, S. Pritam and M. Prokopenko, "Information dynamics in small-world Boolean networks", Artificial Life, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 293-314, 2011.
- J.T. Lizier, J. Heinzle, A. Horstmann, J.-D. Haynes, M. Prokopenko, "Multivariate information-theoretic measures reveal directed information structure and task relevant changes in fMRI connectivity", Journal of Computational Neuroscience, vol. 30, pp. 85-107, 2011.
- J.T. Lizier, M. Prokopenko and A.Y. Zomaya, "Information modification and particle collisions in distributed computation", Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, vol. 20, no. 3, 037109, 2010.
- J.T. Lizier, and M. Prokopenko, "Differentiating information transfer and causal effect", European Physical Journal B, vol. 73, no. 4, pp. 605-615, 2010.
- J.T. Lizier, M. Prokopenko and A.Y. Zomaya, "Local Information Transfer as a Spatiotemporal Filter for Complex Systems", Physical Review E, vol. 77, 026110, 2008.
- G.E. Town and J.T. Lizier, "Tapered holey fibers for spot-size and numerical aperture conversion", Optics Letters, Vol. 26, No. 14, pp. 1042-1044, 2001
- University of Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) Fellowship 2019 Scheme, J.T. Lizier (CI); $150k (2019-2020).
- Centre for Translational Data Science's Research Incubator Funding Scheme, J.T. Lizier, J.M. Shine (CIs); $80k (2019-2020).
- Centre for Complex Systems Emerging Aspirations Funding Scheme 2018, B. Fulcher, J.M. Shine, J.T. Lizier (CIs); $12.5k (2019).
- University of Sydney Research Excellence Initiative (SREI 2020) for "CRISIS: Crisis Response in Interdependent Social-Infrastructure Systems", M. Prokopenko, E. Altmann, D. Bunker, R. Fletcher, J.T. Lizier, R. Nigmatullin, K. McKenzie, R. Miles, D. Penny, S. Sarkar, T. Sleigh (CIs); $150k (2017-2018)
- Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) 2016 Scheme for "Relating complex network structure to function using information theory", J.T. Lizier (CI); $375k (2016-2019).
- Australian Research Council Discovery 2016 Scheme for "Large-scale computational modelling of epidemics in Australia: analysis, prediction and mitigation", M. Prokopenko, P. Pattison, M. Gambhir, J.T. Lizier, M. Piraveenan (CIs), T. Germann (PI); $525k (2016-2019).
- Universities Australia / German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme for "Measuring neural information synthesis and its impairment", J.T. Lizier (CI in Aus), M. Wibral and V. Priesemann (CIs in Germany); $40k (2016-2017.)
- Faculty of Engineering Early Career Researcher and Newly-appointed Staff Scheme for "Measuring information flows between events in complex systems", J.T. Lizier (CI); $10k (2016).
- Melbourne Neuroscience Institute Interdisciplinary Seed Funding Scheme for "Tracking the Dynamics of Information Processing in Cortical Circuits", H. Meffin, M. Ibbotson, P. Martin, M. Wibral and J.T. Lizier (co-CIs); $20k (2015-2016).
- CSIRO Data Science program Capability Development Fund visitor travel grant; $3k (2014).
- CSIRO Complex Systems Science overseas travel grant; $3k (2012).
- Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Foreign Postdoc grant for "Computation and information dynamics in complex networks" (PI); $60k (2010-2012).
- A.E. and F.A.Q. Stevens Scholarship; $90k (2006-2009); an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) equivalent scholarship, awarded to the most highly ranked Ph.D. applicant to The University of Sydney for an APA.
- CSIRO Postgraduate Award; $42k (2006-2009); providing supervisory and financial support for Ph.D. studies aligned with CSIRO's work program.
- ARC Complex Open Systems Network (COSNet) overseas travel grant; $2k (2008).
- ALifeXI travel bursary award; $1k (2008).
- ARC Complex Open Systems Network (COSNet) and CSIRO Complex Systems Science overseas travel grants for attending the Santa Fe Institute Complex systems Summer School; $3k and $1k (2007).
- Telstra Research Labs Future Oriented Research and Development Grant (FORD) for "Anomaly detection in service metrics", J.T. Lizier (CI) and T.J. Dawson; $150k (2004-2006).
- SUPRA Supervisor of the Year Award -- Faculty of Engineering & IT, University of Sydney (2018).
- Dean's Award for Outstanding Teaching Innovation for the Faculty of Engineering & IT, University of Sydney (2017).
- Unit of Study Survey (USS) Teaching Commendation for PMGT5875 Project Innovation Management, Semester 1, 2016 (2017).
- DSTO Award for Best Early Career Researcher Oral Presentation at Australian Workshop on Computational Neuroscience (2014).
- CSIRO ICT Centre Young Scientist of the Year award (2013).
- Best Paper award at RoboCup'2013 Symposium, with Oliver Cliff, Rosalind Wang, Peter Wang, Oliver Obst and Mikhail Prokopenko (2013).
- Best Paper award at IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life, with Benjamin Flecker and Paul Williams (2013).
- Springer Thesis prize, including publication of my thesis by Springer (2012).
- Best Paper award at IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life, with Rommel Ceguerra and Albert Zomaya (2011).
- Finalist for Rita and John Cornforth Medal for an outstanding PhD graduate at USyd (2011).
- Honourable Mention in CORE Doctoral Dissertation awards for most outstanding computer science Ph.D. thesis in Australia (2010).
- Siemens Prize for Solving an Industry Problem in Research Project Work (2006).
- University Medal for the Electrical Engineering degree (2000).
- Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 92.3 (B.E./B.Sc.). Transcripts available on request.
- Chancellor's Industry Scholarship in Engineering (1996-2000); a co-op type scholarship. This involved summer vacation placements with: Telstra Research Laboratories (Sydney, Dec 1999 to Feb 2000, developing service management software), BHP Steel (Port Kembla, Dec 1997 to Feb 1998, designing earth leakage detection and overhead crane warning systems), and Integral Energy (Seven Hills, Dec 1996 to Feb 1997, database management).
- Bullant Technology Prize for Excellence in Software Engineering; awarded to most proficient 4th year Electrical Engineering student (2000).
- Institution of Electrical Engineers Prize; for most proficient 3rd year Electrical Engineering student (1999).
- Offered Deas-Thompson Scholarship and Cadbury - Julius Sumner Miller Scholarship No.3 for performance in Physics 3 (Adv) (1998), conditional on progression to Physics Honours.
- Best Undergraduate Team Project in Computer Science (1998).
- Electrical Engineering Foundation Second Year Prize; judged on academic performance and written and oral presentations (1997).
- Cadbury - Julius Sumner Miller Scholarship No.2; for performance in Physics 2 (Adv) (1997).
- Science Foundation for Physics Scholarship No.1; for performance in Physics 1 (Adv) (1996).
- KK Saxby Prize; for performance in Mathematics 1 (Adv) (1996).
- Named on Dean's List of Excellence in Academic Performance in the Bachelor of Engineering Degree (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000) and in Bachelor of Science Degree (1998).
Technical and Professional Skills
- Academic leadership:
- Organising committee memberships for workshops/conferences: IEEE Symposium on ALife (IEEE ALife) 2019, 2017 (chair), 2015; Workshop on Methods of Information Theory in Computational Neuroscience (satellite of CNS), 2019, 2018 -- chair, 2017 -- chair, 2016 -- chair; Complexity, Criticality and Computation Research Camp 2015; Information Processing in Cognition (IPCog-2013) -- co-chair; Symposium on Non-linear and model-free Interdependence Measures in Neuroscience 2012; Guided Self-Organisation (GSO) 2012.
- Editorial positions: Associate Editor, Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, 2014-; Editorial Board, Entropy, 2017-; Editorial Board, Complex Systems, 2017-; Co-edited 1 book and 1 special issue.
- Program committee memberships: Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE) 2018-19; International Symposium on Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALife) 2014, 2016; Workshop Massive Data Flow: Understanding the Complex Dynamics of the Web 2014; European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL) 2013, 2015, 2017; IEEE Symposium on ALife (IEEE ALife) 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019; Organisation for Computational Neuroscience Annual Meeting (CNS*) 2018; Int. Conf. on Machine learning, Optimization and Data Science (LOD) 2017, 2018; Int. Conf. on Neural Computation Theory and Applications (NCTA) 2016; Int. Conf. on Cellular Automata for Research and Industry (ACRI) 2012, 2014; Complexity, Criticality and Computation (C^3) Symposium 2015, 2017; Guided Self-Organisation (GSO) 2008, 2010-2016; Computation in Cyber-Physical Systems (CompCPS) 2010-2012.
- Other committee memberships: Management Committee, Centre for Complex Systems, The University of Sydney, 2018- (Advisory Committee 2016-18); School of Civil Engineering Research Committee, The University of Sydney, 2018-; Board of Education Innovation Unit, Faculty of Engineering and IT, The University of Sydney, 2017-; IEEE Task Force on Artificial Life and Complex Adaptive Systems, 2013-.
- Reviewed journal articles for: Physical Review E; Chaos; IEEE Transactions on Information Theory; Journal of the Royal Society Interface; PLoS Computational Biology; New Journal of Physics; European Physical Journal B; Human Brain Mapping; Journal of Computational Neuroscience; Frontiers in Neuroinformatics; Brain Imaging and Behavior; Physica A; Entropy; Artificial Life; Journal of Complex Networks; Advances in Complex Systems; Complexity; Frontiers in Robotics and AI; IEEE Transactions on Computers; IEEE Systems Journal; IEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological, and Multi-Scale Communications; Journal of Cellular Automata; Journal of Economic Studies; Fluctuation and Noise Letters; Simulation; Journal of Healthcare Engineering; Movement Ecology; Animal Behavior and Cognition.
- Reviewed grant proposals for: Australian Research Council (ARC) -- Discovery and DECRA programs, European Research Council, Welsh European Funding Office (Sêr Cymru II Programme), Leverhulme Trust, National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (Chile).
- Academic skills and outcomes:
- Publishing and research skills. I have had significant involvement in research, both in academia and in industry, across a wide range of technologies. I have contributed over 60 publications in academic journals, refereed conferences and books.
- Invited talks. I have delivered invited talks at several conferences: (keynote) Electronic Conference on Entropy and Its Applications (ECEA-2017), 2017; Workshop on Methods of Information Theory in Computational Neuroscience, 2016-17; Workshop on Information, Complexity and Life 2014; Integrative Brain Function Workshop 2014; NeFF-Workshop on Non-linear and model-free Interdependence Measures in Neuroscience 2012; Australian Complex Systems Summer School and Workshop 2012; as well as delivered invited seminars at institutions such as the University of Cambridge. See the full list of my conference and seminar presentations and download samples at http://lizier.me/joseph/presentations/.
- Successful collaborations: including with researchers from the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute, Indiana University, Goethe University.
- Supervision: currently supervisor for 3 Ph.D. students, co-supervisor for 2, and supervisor for 1 Masters student; supervised 1 USyd honours student (HD for thesis), and 3 CSIRO internship students; all of whose work resulted in academic publications, two of which received Best Paper awards.
- Teaching experience, with outstanding feedback from both students and supervising lecturers (available on request).
- Grant/funding success, listed above, including: ARC DECRA and Discovery grants, Telstra FORD Grant, Postgraduate stipends, travel grants.
- Impact on my field: e.g. h-index of 32 on Google scholar, 22 on ISI; >2700 citations on Google scholar, >1200 on ISI; my work has been included in a Master's level course "Nonstandard computation" at Portland State University.
- Learned society memberships: IEEE, IEEE Information Theory society, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, Organisation for computational neuroscience (OCNS), Complex Systems Society.
- Interdisciplinary perspective as a complex systems scientist, including attendance at the 2007 Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School, and experience applying analysis across brain imaging data, models of biological networks, modular robotics, and cellular automata.
- Programming and computing skills:
- Exceptional programming and computational skills, primarily in research but also in production contexts. My most recent experiences are with Java, but I have experience in many other languages, including C/C++ and Python. I particularly enjoy programming in low-level languages, and have experience in assembly language, programmable logic controllers and smartcards (Javacard).
- Open source code contributions- most notably, the Java Information Dynamics Toolkit (JIDT) and IDTxl on github.
- Numerical analysis skills - including experience with Matlab/Octave, use of information-theoretical methods, experience in large data set analysis on high performance clusters, and understanding of code optimisation.
- Experience with a wide range of software packages, including - Matlab/Octave, NetLogo, J2EE for Java web applications.
- Experience with many web/mobile protocols and standards, including - SIM toolkit (GSM 03.17), Secure Over the air messaging (GSM 03.48), Short Messaging Service (GSM 03.40).
- Professional/soft skills:
- Proven ability to apply theoretical grounding to practical situations (e.g. applying our studies of information dynamics to provide insights in brain imaging data).
- Well developed meta-cognitive skills. I am a fast learner, a highly intuitive and strong logical and analytical thinker.
- Excellent communication skills. I have made many conference presentations, and my development has included workshops from the Theatre of Leadership and Maura Fay. Regarding writing skills, I have written PhD and honours level theses, published many academic articles, and written technical reports in industry. I am a regular member of committees and boards both in and outside of the workplace, including on a Strata Title Owners Corporation and positions as a student representative to the School of Electrical Engineering board.
- Outstanding personal skills. I have always found it easy to establish rapport with groups that I am a part of. I am a solid team player and leader, having filled both roles in the workplace and academia (e.g. supervising an Honours student, project leader positions at Telstra, project leader in academic collaborations). I oversaw the running of a Monthly Barbecue event at TRL (including establishing a process and constructing a website), which ran successfully over 4 years.
- Project skills. I have experience as a leader in the workplace, as both a technical lead and as a project manager. Outside the workplace, I have served as Secretary of our Strata Title Owners Corporation (2002-06), and on the board of Eastwood Occassional Child Care Centre (2013-17), including as Treasurer (2016-17).
- Please contact me for referees (professional and academic) and their contact details.