Complexity Explorer

Welcome to Complexity Explorer!

Complexity Explorer provides online courses and other educational materials related to complex systems science.  Complexity Explorer is an education project of the Santa Fe Institute, and is funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and by user donations.

Bring the Santa Fe Institute to you.  Complexity Explorer is your online gateway into an exciting world seen through the prism of complexity, led by the Santa Fe Institute’s network of renowned faculty.  Access an ever growing resource of massive open online courses and tutorials designed to aid you in joining our global network of complex systems scientists. From the novice wanting to learn what complexity is, to the experienced research professional seeking a new approach, SFI’s Complexity Explorer will provide you with the frameworks, tools, and applications you need to become a Complexity Scholar. 

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Available Courses

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Introduction to Dynamical Systems and Chaos (Summer, 2016)

Course Dates:

5 Jul 2016 to 20 Sep 2016


David Feldman


A familiarity with basic high school algebra. There will be optional lessons for those with stronger math backgrounds.

About the course:

In this course you'll gain an introduction to the modern study of dynamical systems, the interdisciplinary field of applied mathematics that studies systems that change over... read more

All tutorials

Check out our many tutorial offerings

Tutorials are short “mini-courses” designed to introduce students to important techniques and to provide illustrations of their application in complex systems. A given tutorial is not meant to offer complete coverage of its topic or substitute for an entire course on that topic.

Tutorials differ from our courses in a several ways:

  • They are always available; there is no set time to complete them.
  • They have quizzes and homework, but no tests. Tutorials do not offer a grade or a.... Read more

Recent News

El farol

June / July Update: Courses, courses, courses

26 Jun 2016

Course Updates

Your patience is paying off - our courses are starting up again, including our brand new Introduction to Agent-based Modeling with Bill Rand! We will have a course starting every month for four months.  

In July, we start with Dave Feldman's fantastic Introduction to Dynamical Systems and Chaos,... Read more


Agent-based Modeling with Bill Rand

20 Jun 2016

Bill Rand is the lead instructor of the eagerly anticipated new Complexity Explorer online course, Introduction to Agent-based Modeling.  He is an assistant professor of Business Management at the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University. He recently co-authored a textbook on agent-based modeling... Read more

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Dr. Annalee Newitz's lecture: The Urban Species: How Domesticated Humans Evolved /
6 Apr 2016

Can an ancient city give us clues to the future of our species in megacities?  Journalist Annalee Newitz was in Santa Fe to give a community lecture regarding the transition our species took as it went from hunter-gatherer to living in permanent dwellings.  Annalee... Read more

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Course Interview

Why vector and matrix algebra is fundamental to complex systems research  

16 Feb 2016

Anthony Rhodes, the instructor of Complexity Explorer’s Vector and Matrix Algebra tutorial, is currently finishing his PhD in mathematical sciences with an emphasis in machine learning.  His current project focuses on situational computer vision, in which a computer algorithm is... Read more

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Interview Profile

Meet Gary, Gaetano, and Natalia, Complexity Explorer Star Supporters

1 Dec 2015

The thousands of complexity scholars who take part in our courses not only enrich their own knowledge, they also provide pivotal support to Complexity Explorer through donations, t-shirt purchases, and volunteer time.  We reached out to a few exceptional supporters to learn a little more... Read more

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