# David Spivak

Senior Scientist and Institute Fellow

David Spivak leads the Collective Intelligence research group at Topos, after a decade as a researcher at MIT. Since his PhD from UC Berkeley in 2007, he has worked to bring category-theoretic ideas into science, technology, and society, through novel mathematical research, through collaboration with scientists and engineers from disciplines including Materials Science, Chemistry, Robotics, Aeronautics, and Computer Science. His mission at Topos is to help develop the ability for people, organizations, and societies to make sense of—and hence to serve—the systems which sustain them.

## Grants

## Talks

Here are slides and recordings from talks given since starting at Topos.

- “Poly: A category of remarkable abundance”, from 2021 Topos Colloquium. [Slides] [Video]
- “Polynomials and the dynamics of data”, from 2021 Seminario de Categorias at UNAM. [Slides] [Video]
- “The polynomial abacus”, from 2021 Workshop on Polynomial Functors. [Slides] [Video 1] [Video 2]
- “Learners’ Languages”, from 2021 Topos Internal Seminar. [Slides] (Video not available)
- “Functorial aggregation”, from 2022 Workshop on Polynomial Functors. [Slides] [Video]
- “Some applications of polynomial functors”, from 2022 Pisa meeting on applications of category theory. [Slides]
- “Polynomial Functors and Shannon Entropy”, from a 2022 talk at the Symposium on Categorical Semantics of Entropy. [Slides] [Video]
- “Sense-making: Accounting for intelligibility”, from 2022 IPAM Workshop on Mathematics of Collective Intelligence. [Slides] [Video]
- “Dynamic interfaces and arrangements: An algebraic framework for interacting systems”, from a 2022 talk in Mike Levin’s seminar. [Slides] [Video]
- “Is Poly the true language of computation?”, my 2022 AFOSR Review talk. [Slides]
- “Dynamic Interfaces and Arrangements”, from a 2022 talk at the Active Inference Instute. [Slides] [Video]
- “Dynamic organizational structures”, from a 2022 talk at the NASA “Prebiotic Chemistry and Evolution of the Early Earth” PCE3 workshop. [Slides]
- “What are we tracking? How category theory puts thinking on rails”, from a 2022 tutorial at the NIST Compositional Structures in Systems Engineering and Design Workshop. [Slides]
- “Poly is an unreasonably effective abstraction; Might it relate to healthy systems?”, from the 2023 Finding the Right Abstractions for Healthy Systems (FRA2) workshop. [Slides]
- “Dynamic organizational systems: From deep learning to prediction markets”, from a 2023 talk in Categories for AI. [Slides]
- “Dynamic Interfaces and Arrangements: An algebraic framework for interacting systems”, from a 2023 talk in Category Theory for Consciousness Science. [Slides] [Video]
- “Applied Category Theory: Towards a hard science of interdisciplinarity”, from a 2023 talk in the Society for Multidisiciplinary and Fundamental Research summer school. [Slides] [Video]
- “All Concepts are Cat^#”, a talk at ACT 2023 on a paper joint with Brandon Shapiro and Owen Lynch. [Slides]
- “All my relations: Contributing to a fabric of belonging”, a talk at AGI2024. [Slides] [Video]
- “Structure and Dynamics of Working Language”, my 2024 AFOSR Review talk. [Slides]

## Blog posts

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