Minicourse on Lattice models and applications to biological problems

November 27 – December 1, 2023

São Paulo, Brazil



Complex living systems are formed by many entities that interact among themselves and with the environment in intricate ways. The large number of interacting parts, together with the complexity of those interactions, often leads to system-level emergent properties that are very different from those of the individual entities. For several years, physicists have been interested in understanding these emergent phenomena in living systems and formalizing them into a unifying theoretical framework. Lattice models are very common in condensed matter physics and also provide a powerful tool to investigate the dynamics of ecological and biological systems because they allow us to describe the dynamics of a collection of interacting agents, including an explicit description of how they interact with each other.

In this mini-course, we will introduce the most common numerical and analytical techniques for the analysis of lattice models in biological and ecological contexts. Among the numerical approaches, we will focus on Monte Carlo and Maximum entropy methods. And using analytical techniques, we will describe and present different ways of inferring probability distributions of biological systems. We will use the formalism of information theory and the Master equation to obtain approximated solutions of the probabilistic dynamics of lattice models.


There is no registration fee and limited funds are available for travel and local expenses.


  • Ricardo Martinez-Garcia (CASUS-HZDR, Germany &  ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP, Brazil)
  • Luisa Ramirez (Johannes Guttenberg Univ.,Mainz, Germany)

List of Participants: Updated on November 29, 2023.

Survey: Here



  • Ricardo Martinez-Garcia (CASUS-HZDR, Germany &  ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP, Brazil)
  • Luisa Ramirez (Johannes Guttenberg Univ.,Mainz, Germany)



Online application is closed


Download PDF version: HERE

Videos and Files

2023-11-27 2023-11-28 2023-11-29 2023-11-30
  • 09:00 - Luisa Ramirez (Johannes Guttenberg Univ.,Mainz, Germany): Learning probability distributions of neuronal activity patterns
  • 11:00 - Ricardo Martinez-Garcia (CASUS-HZDR, Germany & ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP, Brazil): Understanding the role of space in ecological dynamics. Mean-field and higher-order analytical approximations




Minicourse on Lattice models and applications to biological problems

Additional Information

BOARDING PASS: All participants, whose travel has been provided or will be reimbursed by ICTP-SAIFR, should bring the boarding pass  upon registration. The return boarding pass (PDF, if online check-in, scan or picture, if physical) should be sent to by e-mail.

COVID-19: Brazilians and foreigners no longer have to present proof of vaccination before entering the country.

Visa information: Nationals from several countries in Latin America and Europe are exempt from tourist visa. Nationals from Australia, Canada and USA are exempt from tourist visa until January 10, 2024. Please check here which nationals need a tourist visa to enter Brazil.

Accommodation: Participants, whose accommodation will be provided by the institute, will stay at The Universe Flat. Hotel recommendations are available here.

How to reach the Institute: The school will be held at ICTP South American Institute, located at IFT-UNESP, which is across the street from a major bus and subway terminal (Terminal Barra Funda). The address which is closer to the entrance of the IFT-UNESP building is R. Jornalista Aloysio Biondi, 120 – Barra Funda, São Paulo. The easiest way to reach us is by subway or bus, please find instructions here.