Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

This course is no longer in session.

Introduction to Complexity

Lead instructor:


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

Hey everyone!

Welcome to the Introduction to Complexity course! Today is our official first day together. I’m Santiago and I will be leading the course with course materials created by Dr. Melanie Mitchell. You can find pictures of us, along with a short biography, 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 begins today, and will be open until December 17th-- a total of 11 weeks. This gives you about a week to complete each unit, with a little extra slack.

In the course webpage you will find many useful features. In addition to the videos, quizzes, homework, solutions, and unit tests in “Lectures,” there is a “Supplementary Materials” section where there are additional resources on the various topics that we will move through. 

If you have never before taken a course on our platform, Complexity Explorer, it may be useful to watch the “How to use Complexity Explorer” video, which you can access through the button on the top-right of the course homepage.

A cool feature of our course is the map, which shows the geographic distribution of our participants (those who added themselves to the map, at least!). If you’d like, and we encourage you to do so, add a marker with your name and location! When you go to the map’s page, just go to “Additions”; and “Add Marker - Simple”, the site will then prompt you for your location information and add the marker to the map.

Map link: https://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=3529382

Another feature, an important one, 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 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. I see that some of you have done this already-- great! :) I am looking forward to reading your introductions!

There are currently 1792 students signed up for the course. So awesome.

I am here for your questions and to assist you in your learning! I will regularly be checking the email and the forums. You can expect weekly course announcements via this email account. 

In addition, I will (slowly) be making some updates to the course material. I will also be doing a few more interviews! I already did one yesterday, I just have to get the video ready and it should be posted soon :) Hopefully by the end of this week or next. I will keep you posted!

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 intro@complexityexplorer.org - 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 looking forward to this!