Aicko Yves Schumann

Contact information

Office Location: Science B, Room 503

Mailing address:

Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of Calgary

SB605 - 2500 University Drive NW

Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4

Cell:     +1 403 630 4025

e-mail: ay.schumann(at)

About me

I was a postdoc in the Complexity Science Group between 2010 and 2013. While I remain associated with the Complexity Science Group as a Visitor, I am now a Postdoctoral Researcher in Bruce McNaughton's Polaris Group for Brain Dynamics and Majid Mohajerani's Optical Brain Imaging Group at the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience at University of Lethbridge where I my research continues to focus around all aspects of Big Data Analysis with a particular interest in extracellular single unit recordings (tetrodes, silicon probes) to understand, for instance, hippocampal memory formation, consolidation, and retrival, and in pattern recognition algorithms for optical brain imaging data (voltage sensitive dye imaging, 2-photon calcium imaging using optogenetics and DREADDs - Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) in behaving rats and mice

My research interests include (among others) statistical physics, time series analysis, time series based functional network analysis, and extreme value statistics, and their applications in medicine and the neurosciences (, but also in geophysics, and finance). I am particularly interested in the development of new multivariate analysis and dynamical functional network analysis methods and their applications in sleep research, physiology, and human cardiology (, as well as, in earthquake and climate modeling).

The beauty of my field of interest -- that we often summarize by the term complexity science -- is its strong interdisciplinarity, allowing me to collaborate with other scientists of diverse backgrounds and with very different fields of interest. As it turns out, many well established and newly developed statistical methods that were originally designed to study, for instance, river runoff data can be directly applied (or modified to be applicable) to data from human physiology (e.g. heartbeat).

Scientific career

2010 - 2013 Postdoctorial Fellow at Complexity Science Group, Dept. Physics & Astronomy, University of Calgary, Canada 2005 - 2010 Ph.D. thesis "Fluctuations and Synchronization in Complex Physiological Systems", Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany (grade: summa cum laude = GPA 4/4 equivalent; Martin-Luther Award for Ph.D. with distinction of the State of Saxony Anhalt, Germany; Publication Award of Logos Verlag Berlin, Germany) 2005 Researcher at Institute of Mathematics, University of Potsdam, Germany 2005 Researcher at Max-Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, Golm, Germany 2004 Visiting scholar at Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California San Diego (UCSD), U.S.A. 1998-2004 Study of Physics, Diploma thesis "Wavelet analysis of sediment data with respect to age-depths models" (very good, German B.Sc. and M.Sc. equivalent), University of Potsdam, Germany 1997-1999 Study of Geoecology (up to Vordiplom, German B.Sc. level equivalent), University of Potsdam, Germany


Book :

Fluctuations and Synchronization in Complex Physiological Systems,Logos Verlag Berlin, ISBN 978-3-8325-2756-3, pp. 245, 2011(basically a remastered/extended version of my PhD thesis, published through "Excellence Initiative" of Logos Verlag Berlin for selected "summa cum laude" dissertations in Germany )


The book deals with topics from cardiology and sleep physiology, an introduction to the physiology of the heart and to basic sleep physiology is given, although, the main focus of the book is statistical physics, biostatistics, and methodology. The analysis focusses on ECG data used for mortality assessment in cardiology, as well as ECG, respiration, and EEG during sleep. Other polysomnographic signals are shortly mentioned but not analyzed in this book. Various (multifractal) methods of fluctuation analysis including (MF-)DFA are extensively discussed, as well as (B)PRSA for studying quasiocillations, and (phase-)synchronization- and cross-modulation analysis methods for analyzing non-linear correlations in signals. Other tools include spectral methods and wavelet transformation.

Journals (newest first)

  1. Jörn Davidsen, AIcko Y. Schumann, and Mark Naylor, Are scale?invariant stress orientations related to seismicity rates near the San Andreas fault?, Geophysical Research Letters 40 (23), 6074-6078, 2013
  2. Patrick Wohlfahrt, Jan W. Kantelhardt, Melanie Zinkhan, Aicko Y. Schumann, Thomas Penzel, Ingo Fietze, Frank Pillmann, and Andreas Stang, Transitions in effective scaling behavior of accelerometric time series across sleep and wake, Europhysics Letters 103(6), 68002, doi:10.1209/0295-5075/103/68002, 2013
  3. Chad Gu, Aicko Y. Schumann, Marco Baiesi and Jörn Davidsen, Triggering cascades and statistical properties of aftershocks, J. Geophys. Res. 1184278, 2013
  4. R. P. Bartsch, A. Y. Schumann, Jan W. Kantelhardt, T. Penzel, and P. Ch. Ivanov, Phase Transitions in Physiologic Coupling, PNAS,, 2012
  5. A. Y. Schumann, N. R. Moloney, and Jörn Davidsen, Extreme value and record statistics in heavy-tailed processes with long-range memory, (in print: AGU Monograph "Complexity and Extreme Events in Geoscience", 2012)
  6. A. Y. Schumann and J. W. Kantelhardt, Multifractal Modelling with Tuned Correlations and Multifractal Analysis with Centered Moving Averages, Physica A 390(14), 2637-2654 (2011), doi:10.1016/j.physa.2011.03.002
  7. J. Ludescher, M. I. Bogachev, J. W. Kantelhardt, A. Y. Schumann, and A. Bunde, On spurious and corrupted multifractality: The effects of additive noise, short-term memory and periodic trends, Physica A 390(13), 2480-2490 (2011), doi:10.1016/j.physa.2011.03.008
  8. K. Fuchs, J. W. Kantelhardt, A. Y. Schumann, D. Buck, and T. Penzel, Effects of Respiration and Sleep Stages on Human Baroreflex Sensitivity(submitted, 2010)
  9. A. Y. Schumann, R. P. Bartsch, P. Ch. Ivanov, T. Penzel, and J. W. Kantelhardt, Aging E?ects on Cardiac and Respiratory Dynamics in Healthy Subjects across Sleep Stages, Sleep 33(7), 943–955 (2010)
  10. J. W. Kantelhardt, F. Gans, A. Y. Schumann, and T. Penzel, EEG Cross Modulation during Sleep and Wake, Proc. Int. Biosignal Processing Conf., Berlin Germany, 002 (2010)
  11. A. Kuhnhold, A. Y. Schumann, R. P. Bartsch, G. Schmidt, and J. W. Kantelhardt, Cardio-Respiratory Phase Synchronization from Reconstructed Respiration, Proc. Int. Biosignal Processing Conf., Berlin, Germany, 076 (2010)
  12. A. Y. Schumann, A. Kuhnhold, R. P. Bartsch, K. Fuchs, A. Bauer, G. Schmidt, and J. W. Kantelhardt, Reconstructed respiration and cardio-respiratory phase synchronization in post-infarction patients, Proc. 6th Conference of the European Study Group on Cardiovascular Oscillations, Berlin, Germany, 053 (2010)
  13. K. Fuchs, A. Y. Schumann, A. Kuhnhold, P. Guzik, J. Piskorski, G. Schmidt, and J. W. Kantelhardt, Comparing analysis of heart rate and blood pressure ?uctuations in healthy subjects, Proc. 6th Conference of the European Study Group on Cardiovascular Oscillations, Berlin, Germany, 056 (2010)
  14. K. Stumpf, A.Y. Schumann, M. Plotnik, F. Gans, T. Penzel, I. Fietze, J.M. Hausdorff, and J.W. Kantelhardt, Effects of Parkinson's disease on brain-wave phase synchronisation and cross-modulation, Europhys. Lett. 89(4), 48001 (2010)
  15. F. Gans, A. Y. Schumann, J.W. Kantelhardt, T. Penzel, and I. Fietze, Cross-Modulated Amplitudes and Frequencies Characterize Interacting Components in Complex Systems, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 098701 (2009)
  16. C. Hamann, R. P. Bartsch, A. Y. Schumann, T. Penzel, S. Havlin, and J. W. Kantelhardt, Detection of cardiorespiratory synchronization based on reconstructed respiration, Chaos 19(1):015106 (2009)
  17. A. Y. Schumann, A. Bauer, T. Penzel, G. Schmidt, and J. W. Kantelhardt, Cardiovascular Oscillations and Correlations during Sleep, Proc. 5th Conference of the European Study Group on Cardiovascular Oscillations, Parma, Italy (2008)
  18. A. Y. Schumann, J. W. Kantelhardt, A. Bauer, and G. Schmidt, Bivariate phase-recti?ed signal averaging, Physica A 387, 5091 (2008)
  19. J. W. Kantelhardt, A. Bauer, A. Y. Schumann, P. Barthel, R. Schneider, M. Malik, and G. Schmidt, Phase-recti?ed signal averaging for the detection of quasiperiodicities and the prediction of cardiovascular risk, Chaos 17, 015112 (2007)
  20. A. Witt, A.Y. Schumann, Holocene Climate Variability on Millennial Scales Recorded in Greenland Ice Cores, Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics 12, 1-8 (2005), SRef-ID:1607-7946/npg/2005-12-1

Summer projects for German bachelor or diploma students financed by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)

Summer 2012

The application deadline has passed and students were selected. I thank all applicants for their interest!

  1. DAAD RISE worldwide: Partial Mutual Information in Complex Networks Project Description CA-PH-1493 
    Student: Patrick Kesper from Georg-August-University Göttingen
  2. DAAD RISE worldwide: Portable Recording Devices in Deep Brain Stimulation Research Project Description CA-PH-1499 
    Student: Niklas Gerdes from Jacobs University Bremen
  3. DAAD PROMOS: Dynamical Functional Networks
    Student: Esther-Danielle Weil from Justus-Liebig University Gießen

Summer 2011

  1. DAAD PROMOS: Functional Networks During Sleep Project Description CA-PH-793
    Student: Patrick Wohlfahrt from Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
  2. DAAD RISE worldwide: Extreme Value Statistics in Sleep Recordings Project Description CA-PH-794
    Student: Julian Kranz from Technical University Karlsruhe
  3. DAAD RISE worldwide: A Portable Recording Device for Physiological Signals Project Description CA-PH-795
    Student: Antje Sophie Brückner from Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg