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 contributions.

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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


Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling

Course Dates:

1 Aug 2016 to 14 Oct 2016


William Rand



About the course:

This course will explore how to use agent-based modeling to understand and examine a widely diverse and disparate set of complex problems. During the course, we will explore why agent-based modeling is a... 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

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August Update

2 Aug 2016

Course Updates

It is finally here - our Introduction to Agent-based Modeling course with Bill Rand launched August 1st! The first unit is completely free and will give you a taste of what Agent-based modeling is and why people use it.  If you haven't enrolled, now's your chance to join!

Over 1300 students have enrolled and so far over... Read more

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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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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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