Introduction to Complexity Science

author: Seth Bullock, University of Southampton
published: Feb. 25, 2007,   recorded: March 2006,   views: 17965


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Continuing advances in information and communications technology (ICT) are increasing the scale and connectivity of today's engineered systems. Managing the resultant complexity is becoming the central challenge for UK industry and government: from software, to cities and even stock exchanges. Across the UK, a wide range of internationally leading research groups are addressing this challenge. In many cases they draw inspiration from biology, which provides innumerable examples of systems that cope with complexity. From cells to ecosystems, biology achieves scalability, adaptability, self-repair, and robustness, often by exploiting "emergent" system-level behaviours. Achieving equivalent success in engineered systems is the root problem that we face.
In the first of our short courses, we introduce the core concepts of complexity in the context of both natural and engineered systems, and explore the ways in which new computational systems, models, and simulations are taking part in complexity science through a series of lectures and workshop activities.

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 Victor, September 29, 2007 at 9:05 a.m.:

Great introduction, easy to follow but very informative.


Comment2 Seth Bullock, February 4, 2009 at 9:37 a.m.:

Thanks Victor.

People seeing this video (which is a little old, now), might be interested in a new Institute for Complex Systems Simulation ( at the University of Southampton in the UK. The Institite will launch this year (2009), and has several fully funded PhD places available to modellers working across the natural and life sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

Comment3 K Vijayaratnam, April 12, 2009 at 11:59 p.m.:

I have learned about complexity science as well as adoptive complex system more than two decades ago, so much so that i have contributed to the need for study of complexity science more than decde ago. I have bought books written by several authors like Holland,Santafe institue in new mexico, Per Bek ,Coveny and Holifield .Non-linear dynamic system and chaos.Good luck

Comment4 Shashidhar Belbase, October 9, 2009 at 7:20 a.m.:

Dear Dr. Bullock,

I wish to thank you so much for your nice video introduction of complexity science. I am interested to apply complexity system theory in mathematics education research to understand complexity of learning mathematics in the classroom, community and natural environment. If you have more lecture series on it, please let me know the link or sources that it can be available to me or other people interested on it.

Shashidhar Belbase

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