Complexity science: an introducton

The science of a complex world
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  • Lectures 13
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 7/2014 English

Course Description

Complexity Science is a science for the complex world we live in at the turn of the 21st century, by using new theories that let us look at age old problems with a fresh perspective and leveraging the use of powerful computation and large data sets it is offering us new insight into the fundamental workings of our interconnected world of networks, globalization and sustainability.

This course gives an overview to the emerging new area of science that is complexity science. By applying the tools of complexity theory such as network analysis, systems theory and self organization, complexity science studies the complex systems in our world that have traditionally been some what overlooked, such as chaotic weather patterns, social networks, transportation systems or the spread of pandemics, to name just a few. This course will cover some of the main applications of complexity theory to various scientific, domains such as:

Social network analysis is the application of network theory and the tools of data analysis to the modeling of social systems. With the arrival of high-powered computing and the proliferation of data sets relating to social interaction, social network analysis is taking off.

Earth systems science is the study of earth as a complex adaptive system. Inherently interdisciplinary it crosses the scientific boundaries to treat the earth as an integrated system. This section introduces you to the application of complexity theory to the modeling and analysis of our planet.

Complexity economics is part of a new set of ideas surrounding economic theory, it sees the economy as a complex system evolving over time through the interaction of multiple adaptive elements that give rise to the emergent structures of enterprises and whole markets.

Complex technology systems are large networks composed of multiple highly interconnected technologies, such as electrical power grids, telecommunication networks, transportation networks or global supply chains. The organization of these systems involves a web of connections and demonstrates self-driven adaptability and emergence behaviour. The tools of complexity theory are beginning to be applied to modeling these technologies and helping us to get a better understanding of their operations.

What are the requirements?

  • There are no prerequisites to this course (though some prior knowledge of complexity theory would be of great benifit) aside for a firm grasp of the english language and a basic level of general scientific knowledge

What am I going to get from this course?

  • The aim of this course is to give you an overview to the main areas of complexity science

What is the target audience?

  • This course is intended for a broad group of people but will be particularly relevant for those with a background in a technical domain such a some area of math, science, engineering or business

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Complexity science overview
05:08

The definition to complexity science is still very much open to debate, for some it means the study of nonlinear systems, to others it is simply a form of interdisciplinary science. In this video we present the history of complexity science as it has emerged out of modern science and present a definition of it as the application of complexity theory to the study of the complex systems in our world such as financial networks, cities, ecosystems amongst many others

15 pages

This lesson will dig deeper into some of the concepts that were introduced in the first lesson on complexity science

Complexity science quiz
3 questions
Section 2: Tools of complexity science
05:22

Complex systems are pervasive in our world from traffic jams to ant colonies they consist of multiple diverse, interconnected elements that are often capable of adaptation giving rise to complex behavior as they evolve over time. Complex systems theory is an exciting new area of mathematics and science that studies these non-linear systems within a variety of domains by employing a suit of different theoretical tools from systems theory to network analysis and cybernetics. Complex systems presents some of the toughest challenges in contemporary science. This video will give an introduction to what complexity is and what defines complex systems. (Please note if you have already taken our Complexity theory course then this lecture maybe skipped)

20 pages

This slide will give you an overview to the key concept within complexity theory that you will needed to understand complexity science. If you are already familiar with complexity theory(or have already taken our complexity theory course) then this section may be skipped

13 pages

This slide will introduce students to the tools used within complexity science, focusing in partiuclare on the two primary methods of Agent based modelling and Network anlaysis.

Complexity theory quiz
3 questions
Section 3: Earth Systems Science
05:04

Earth systems science is the study of earth as a complex systems composed of interacting physical, chemical and biological processes with in what are called earth’s sphere. Inherently transcending disciplines it crosses the scientific boundaries to treat the Earth as an integrated system. This section will introduce you to this still emerging subject and the application of complexity theory to gaining a better understanding of earths multiple subsystems.

15 pages

This lesson will dig deeper into some of the concepts that were introduced in the first lesson on Earth Systems science

Earth systems science quiz
4 questions
Section 4: Complex technology systems
05:20

This video gives a brief overview to complex technology systems which are large networks composed of multiple highly interconnected technologies, such electrical power grids, telecommunication networks, transportation networks or global supply chains.

03:36

This video will give you an introduction to the area of Complex Socio-Technical Systems a new area that takes a holistic approach to the design of engineering projects which involve the interaction of both social and technical elements.

3 questions

Some questions to get you thinking out the topics covered in this lesson

Section 5: Complexity economics
05:59

Complexity economics is the application of complexity theory to modelling and understanding the economy, as such it represent an alternative paradigm to the our mainstream economic theory that relies heavily upon the concepts of classical physics. This video will give you an introduction to this new area also some times called nonlinear economics

16 pages

This lesson will dig deeper into some of the concepts that were introduced in the first lesson on Complexity economics

Complexity economics Quiz
3 questions
Section 6: Social Network Analysis
04:44

This lesson will give you an overview to the area of Social network analysis which is the application of network theory to the modeling and analysis of social systems. it combines both tools for analyzing social relations and theory for explaining the structures that emerge from these social interactions.

14 pages

This lesson will dig deeper into some of the concepts that were introduced in the first lesson on Social network analysis

Social networks quiz
3 questions

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Instructor Biography

Think Academy, eLearning for systems thinking

Think Academy is an e-Learning site dedicated to the area of systems thinking and complexity theory, our mission is to take the world of complexity and make it accessible to all. Systems and complex can be intimidating subjects with many sophisticated concepts, this is why we believe it is important to always start with the most essential, simplest elements of a subject making sure that students come away with a solid understanding of the core concepts behind each area. As Einstein said "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler"

Courses are curated and presented by Joss Colchester. Joss has extensive experience within the domain of complex systems both within academic research(mathematical modeling of complex system + network analysis) and has many years practical systems engineering experience(designing and developing complex web based information systems). He has a passion for taking abstract and complex concepts and making them concrete and accessible to as broad an audience as possible by combining clear and effective graphics with well structured course content.


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