In recent decades, the science of studying complex systems has started to evolve and mature. It has become clear that a new, more integrated way of thinking is essential for understanding many of the complex challenges that humanity faces. The aim is to derive rules on how the dynamical behaviour of a complex system depends on the combined properties of individual elements, the nature of the interactions between elements, as well as the topology of interactions between elements, in order to understand and predict these systems and control them to have desirable properties. As an example, insight into which features of complex systems generate resilience against perturbations versus which properties enhance the sensitivity of the system and allow it to transition to a different equilibrium state is important for a broad range of questions on, for instance, climate change, social-political change, disruptive innovations, infectious disease emergence and ecosystem collapse.
We focus on the four key aspects of complex systems: emergence, resilience, transitions and predictability and control. We demonstrate how they are recurring concepts in a broad range of areas ranging from the life sciences, social sciences, economics, as well as humanities; and thereby unify them at a deep level. We will stimulate the students to think in terms of these abstract unifying concepts across the diverse disciplines; illustrate the need for mathematical models to study and quantify these properties; and teach the students basic mathematical tools to study the behaviour of the constructed models.
This course is offered by the Centre for Complex Systems Studies (CCSS).
To make the course suitable for most of our participants, the Additional Application Form (only one question) is required for application, you can download it here or make you own form by briefly (max. 150 words) describing your purpose and expectation of following this course, e.g. why you choose “Introduction to Complex Systems” and what you expect to gain from this course.
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Please download the Additional Application Form via https://www.uu.nl/sites/default/files/ccss_additional_application_form.docx or make you own form by briefly (max. 150 words) describing your purpose and expectation of following this course, e.g. why you choose “Introduction to Complex Systems” and what you expect to gain from this course.
For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying: