Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

30 Aug 2014

Mathematics MOOC to be offered

This fall, beginning on September 29th , we are excited to offer a new course:  “Mathematics for Complex Systems”.  While we’re calling it a “course”, it is meant to be a collection of independent units, each of which covers a particular mathematical technique that is important in complex systems research.    While some participants will want to complete all the units, we expect many participants to pick and choose the units most relevant to them.  Because of this, this course (unlike our other courses so far) will be open for a year or more, and it not provide a certificate of completion.

An interdisciplinary team of experts will teach this long-format course with new content being provided on a rolling basis until June 30th, 2015.  Each unit has its own prerequisites and is intended to stand alone.  Due to the survey nature of this course it should be noted this course will not provide complete coverage of any of these topics and is not intended to replace more in-depth study. 

The planned units include: ordinary differential equations; vector and matrix algebra; basic probability, combinatorics and statistical distributions; Bayesian inference and Bayesian networks; information theory; stochastic processes; critical phenomena; maximum entropy methods and renormalization methods.  For a complete list of covered topics, as well as their individual prerequisites, please visit the course page at:

The teaching team so far includes several long-term associates of the Santa Fe Institute:  Melanie Mitchell (Portland State University); Liz Bradley (University of Colorado); Dave Feldman (College of the Atlantic); Simon DeDeo (Indiana University); and Jim Crutchfield (University of California, Davis).  More information about our experts is also available on the course page listed above. 

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