Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

Course Syllabus

Modeling Complex Systems

Complex systems here imply systems that demonstrate unpredictable, sometimes fascinating, phenomena. Examples of such phenomena include synchronization in fireflies, schooling in fish, and formation of snowflakes. In complex systems a large number of components interact through simple rules to give rise to complex patterns, and yet, a small change in the rules can result in an entirely different outcome. In this course, we will use mathematical models to visualize such patterns, and isolate the key drivers of the final outcomes. Starting with the motivation on why we should model anyway, we will simulate examples of complex systems using population dynamics, self-propelled particles, networks, and cellular automata. The course will consist of weekly lectures and labs, and a final project where you will model and analyse a system of your choice. Knowledge of undergraduate level calculus, linear algebra, and basic programming (preferably in MATLAB) is required. The objective of this course is to help the student better understand the emergence of complexity in nature and developing the intuition to take a first crack at modeling a complex system.

Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology
Sachit Butail
Complex Systems, Modeling