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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

Design and Implementation of an Undergraduate Degree Program in Social and Organizational Complexity.

John Bragin
UCLA Human Complex Systems Program

Nicholas Gessler
UCLA Human Complex Systems Program

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: June 21, 2006

The UCLA Human Complex Systems Program (HCS) is an interdepartmental research and education unit of the UCLA College of Letters of Sciences. The core departments in this program are Anthropology, Communications Studies, Organizational Management, Political Science and Sociology. In addition to faculty from these departments there is a Faculty Affiliates group from the arts, humanities, physical and life sciences whose work deals in whole or in part with complexity science.

Two other groups are important to our Program. First, the Research Affiliates group, which consists of independent researchers who participate in a variety of the Program’s research and education projects. Second, the External Advisory Committee, which consists of faculty from other institutions, as well as business, industry, government and not-for-profit professionals. The primary role of this latter group is to advise on the enhancement of our education activities, including help in obtaining internships, graduate admissions, and job opportunities for our students.

The focus of our educational efforts is an undergraduate Minor in Human Complex Systems. This new Minor (established in the Fall of 2005) is the first undergraduate program of its kind in the world. Students in the Minor usually Major in a Social Science, but the Program is opened to all undergraduates at UCLA. The Minor curriculum consists of three Lower Division (Freshman/Sophomore) courses and five Upper Division (Junior/Senior) courses. Each student chooses two already-existing Lower Division courses from a wide range of offerings in all UCLA’s social science departments (not just those in the HCS core group), and one quantitative reasoning course (usually in statistics or discrete math). To fulfill his/her Upper Division requirements, a student chooses two out of four subject matter courses particularly tailored for the HCS Program from our core departments; two Methods courses which focus on computer modeling and simulation of human group phenomena; and one elective course that complements the student’s particular Major interest.

Most HCS courses are open to enrollment by non-Minors, but Minors have many exclusive benefits: These include guaranteed enrollment in HCS courses; eligibility for internships; special counseling for Summer and graduate programs at other institutions; and eligibility for the Bragin Prize given yearly to the best computer simulation projects.

A Human Complex Systems Education Wiki is under (very slow) 
construction: Google “HCSed” to get the link.

For further information,
please contact:
John Bragin, 
Program Consultant: jbragin-at-ucla.edu.

UCLA Human Complex Systems
341 Haines Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553
Front Desk: 310-825-2055
Fax: 310-206-7833

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