Education Program

All day


Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Summary: This course introduces professionals from many backgrounds to the scientific study of the complex interactions that underlie social, biological, and computational systems. "Exploring Complexity in Science and Technology" has no prerequisites and requires no background in mathematics or science.

The two-and-a-half day course is an immersive tour of the sciences of complexity, which seeks to explain from many scholarly perspectives how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among many individuals. Examples of complex systems include economies, ecosystems, conflict, the Internet, the spread of disease, and human social institutions. During the course, participants explore the broad realm of complex systems science, including dynamics and chaos, networks, evolution, and agent-based modeling. They also learn to use these tools to understand complexity in biological, economic, social, and technological systems. Exploring Complexity is specifically designed for professionals, social workers, journalists, university faculty, and others who want to explore and apply this new interdisciplinary scientific approach to complex systems in their own lives.

Course Director: 
Melanie Mitchell, Professor, Computer Science, Portland State University; External Professor, Santa Fe Institute; author of Complexity: A Guided Tour, winner of Phi Beta Kappa Society's 2012 Book Award in Science.

Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Prize in Economics, 1972; Joan Kenney Professor of Economics (emeritus), Stanford University; member of the Science Board and External Faculty (emeritus), Santa Fe Institute

Luis Bettencourt, Professor, Santa Fe Institute

Aaron Clauset, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder; External Professor, Santa Fe Institute

Stephanie Forrest, Professor, University of New Mexico; Science Board Co-Chair and External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute

Deborah Gordon, Professor, Stanford University; member of the Science Board, Santa Fe Institute

Melanie Mitchell, Professor, Computer Science, Portland State University; External Professor, Santa Fe Institute

General: $1,200

We are pleased to offer five Business Network Member tuitions at a 50% discount off the current $1,200 fee. Network members will be responsible for their own meals and housing. Additional slots may be available at regular tuition cost. The five reduced-tuition slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis by return email to Casey.

For more information or with questions, visit the course website or email Casey Cox.

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