NECSI Educational Programs




One-Day Course:

Introduction to Complex Systems


Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Location: University of Nevada, Reno


Course Description

A one day course, Introduction to Complex Systems, will be offered on Tuesday, November 19, 2002. This course will be given in conjunction with the Workshop on Modeling Complex Systems with the US Geological Survey and 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 will be the Reid Engineering Conference Facility, University of Nevada, Reno.




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, system, observer, environment.
  2. Interactions and Patterns: Patterns of collective behavior and the inadequacy of averages: influence, interdependence, cooperation, competition, networks, adaptation.
  3. Description: Complexity, emergence and the multi-scale perspective in description.
  4. Modeling: Mental and computer-based models; intuitive and fundamental modeling; building, testing and using models; modeling strategies and tactics.
  5. Applications: physical, biological, social, and engineered systems.

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