Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

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11 Dec 2020
Nonlinear Dynamics Agent-Based Modeling Origins of Life Computation Economics

December 2020 Newsletter

Dear Complexity Explorers,

Greetings from snowy Santa Fe, New Mexico. We are wishing you all a safe and joyous holiday season this December. For the end of the year, we have a few projects and upcoming courses that we are excited to share with you. 

Here is the tentative schedule for Complexity Explorer courses that will run next year:

Please note this schedule is subject to change 

Non-Linear Dynamics is now open for enrollment

Course dates: January 15, 2021 - May 14, 2021

About the Course

Non-Linear Dynamics provides a broad introduction to the field, focusing both on the mathematics and the computational tools that are so important in the study of chaotic systems. This course is aimed at students who have had at least one semester of college-level calculus and physics, and who can program in at least one high-level language (C, Java, Matlab, R, ...)

After a quick overview and history of non-linear dynamics we review the basic background that students need in order to succeed in this course. We then dig deeper into the dynamics of maps—discrete-time dynamical systems—encountering and unpacking the notions of state space, trajectories, attractors and basins of attraction, stability and instability, bifurcations, and the Feigenbaum number. We then move to the study of flows, where we revisit many of the same notions in the context of continuous-time dynamical systems.  Since chaotic systems cannot, by definition, be solved in closed form, we spend some time thinking about how to solve them numerically, and learning what challenges arise in that process.  We then learn about techniques and tools for applying all of this theory to real-world data and close with a number of interesting applications: control of chaos, prediction of chaotic systems, chaos in the solar system, and uses of chaos in music and dance.


We are now accepting applications for the UCR program

Program Overview

Location: Santa Fe Institute (SFI) | Santa Fe, New Mexico, Southwest United States

Dates: June 6, 2021 - August 14, 2021

The SFI Undergraduate Complexity Research program (UCR) program provides a ten-week residential research experience during which undergraduate students develop innovative research projects in collaboration with an SFI mentor. The program asks students to discard traditional disciplinary boundaries, and combine concepts and tools from the physical, natural, and social sciences. This allows students to ask big questions about real-world complex systems using the rigorous methods employed at the Santa Fe Institute. The program is designed to assist students in developing their own research questions and projects in close collaboration with the SFI faculty and postdoctoral fellows.

Online Possibility

This program was offered as an online research experience in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope to host the program in-person in 2021, but if we are unable to do so due to the pandemic, we will offer it online again.

We ask that students only apply if they are interested in participating in either format.

More info and apply now >

New SFI Press book released

About the book

Just over a year ago, members of the SFI research and practitioner community gathered in Santa Fe to delve into the history—and the future—of complexity economics. Our latest book, Complexity Economics, documents this event, the Applied Complexity Network (ACtioN)’s 2019 Fall Symposium. It also launches a new series, Dialogues of the Applied Complexity Network.

When Santa Fe Institute scientists first started working on economics more than thirty years ago, many of their insights, approaches, and tools were considered beyond heterodox. These once-disparaged approaches include network economics, agents of limited rationality, and institutional evolution—all topics that are now increasingly considered mainstream. SFI continues to expand the boundary of our economic understanding by pioneering fields as diverse as collective intelligence and organizational scaling.

Complexity Economics

Edited by SFI External Faculty members W. Brian Arthur, Eric Beinhocker, and Allison Stanger, Complexity Economics: Proceedings of the Santa Fe Institute’s 2019 Fall Symposium includes talk and panel transcripts as well as newly written introductions and reflections. In addition to providing a window into SFI’s largest annual event, this volume illuminates the challenges that traditional economics, with its emphasis on equilibrium, is poorly equipped to tackle—but for which complexity economics offers realistic and achievable solutions.

Purchase Now > 

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