NECSI Educational Programs




One-Day Course:

Introduction to Complex Systems


Date: April 30, 2002
Location: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


Course Description

A one day course, Introduction to Complex Systems, will be offered on Tuesday, April 30, 2002. This course will give an introduction to the opportunities that complex systems provides in research and in applications. Several approaches to the study of complex systems will be described, basic concepts will be introduced and implications for the study of biological, social and engineered systems will be discussed.


The location of the program is at Harvard University.
Registrants will be given specific location after they have registered.


Harvard students and faculty attend free.
Registration required. Space is limited.

Outside of Harvard:
Student $50, Faculty $150, Corporate $300


Lectures and discussions will focus on the following topics:

  1. Universality and the unified study of complex systems: Examples of complex systems: physical, biological, social and engineered. The basic concepts: emergence, complexity, evolution, relationships, observer, environment.
  2. Interactions and Patterns: Patterns of behavior and the inadequacy of averages: influence, interdependence, cooperation, competition, networks, adaptation / evolution.
  3. Description: Complexity, emergence and the multi-scale perspective in description.
  4. Modeling: The role of models and modeling; mental and computer-based models; intuitive and fundamental modeling; building, testing and using models; modeling strategies and tactics.
  5. Applications: Beyond scientific applications: Medicine, Management, Engineering, Education, and Social services.
  6. Complex systems in arts and humanities, the blurring/merging of analytic and affective views.


Copyright © 2002 New England Complex Systems Institute. All rights reserved.