Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

This course is no longer in session.

Introduction to Complexity (Spring 2018 - Spring 2019)

Lead instructor:

1.1 Welcome to the course! » Welcome from Instructor Santiago Guisasola

Hello everybody!

Welcome to the Introduction to Complexity course! My name is Santiago and I will be leading the course with course materials created by Dr. Melanie Mitchell. You can find pictures of us, along with short biographies, in the “Description” section of the course webpage. There are 10 units in the course, beginning with “What is Complexity?” and ending with “Scaling in Biology and Society”.

The course webpage has many useful features. In addition to the material under “Lectures” (videos, quizzes, homework, solutions, unit tests), there’s a “Supplementary Materials” section where I’ve posted useful resources about the different topics that we will move through. If you’ve never taken a Complexity Explorer course before, you may want to watch the “How to use Complexity Explorer” video, which you can access through the button on the top-right of the course homepage. There is also a map for the course. If you’d like, add a marker with your name and location.  When you go to the map’s page, just go to “Additions” and “Add Marker - Simple”, and the site will prompt you for your location information and it will add the marker to the map.  This way we all can see the geographic distribution of course participants.

Also very important is the “Forum” section of the webpage.  If you look there, you’ll find a number of sub-forums listed on the right-hand side.  These are intended to structure and streamline the flow of forum posts so as to make this medium as useful as possible to all of us.  I’d like to encourage all of you to post on the “Introduce Yourself” sub-forum; it’s great to know who’s in the course and what their interests are. Additionally, we have made special sub-forums that are titled with the month and year that folks have started the course, so that you may keep a cohort as you progress through.  

I will send out weekly course announcements via  More frequent course updates will be in the Class Announcements forum on the course page.  I will also post updates and other information via the course twitter account, @IntroComplexity.

A few administrative and logistical details:
If you have questions or comments about the lectures, quizzes, or homework, please do post them on the forum—that way others who have the same questions can learn from the exchange.
If you have questions of comments about any of the unit tests, though, please email us at - do not post about them on the forum. If you find a bug or a broken link or some other thing that's going to trip up others in the class, please do both!  (the "Technical Issues" subforum and email).
Please check out the FAQ section for other useful answers to questions about this course.

Lastly, I would like to make two announcements. The course is absolutely free, but it can only keep running if it is funded. Because of this, we ask our students to donate if they can. We are also looking for subtitle volunteers! If you are fluent in another language and would like to help the Santa Fe Institute with this-- let me know! I will send more information about this every once in a while.

Thanks everybody. I am here for your questions and to assist you in your learning!