Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

Course Syllabus

Exploring Complexity in Science and Technology

This course introduces selected topics in Complex Systems, an interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to explain how large numbers of relatively simple entities organize themselves, without the benefit of any central controller, acting collectively to create patterns, use information, and adapt and learn. The course will introduce undergraduates, in a largely non-mathematical way, to the the methods and tools of computer-based modeling (using the Netlogo simulation environment), and to front-line research on complexity in several different areas of science, including physics, biology, the social sciences, and computer science. Topics will include areas of current research in complex systems science, including dynamics and chaos, information and computation, life and evolution in nature and in machines, the science of networks, and network structure and information processing in living systems. The focus will be on common principles underlying complexity in natural and technological systems.

Portland State University
Melanie Mitchell
Complex Systems