Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

Degree or Certificate Program

Complex Adaptive Systems Science

Complex adaptive systems (CASS) science is the study of highly interactive and dynamic systems that change over individual and evolutionary time scales. The spread of epidemics, society-biology interactions of obesity, impacts of agriculture on land degradation, ecological impacts of urban growth and social responses to natural disasters all involve CAS. Human societies have made the modern world more complex than ever before, with over 6 billion individuals living in urban centers of millions of inhabitants, divided into innumerable social and economic roles and organized into hierarchies many levels deep. As a result, the simple cause-and-effect thinking that has served our species well for so long may no longer offer reliable predictions of the outcomes of social action – even when systematized in the careful trial and error learning that has made western science so successful. Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change, School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability offer a concentration in complex adaptive systems that provides doctoral students with a solid, transdisciplinary foundation in this field.

Arizona State University
epidemics, ecological impacts, urban growth, land degradation, sustainability, natural disasters, complex adaptive systems

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