So, are you looking to learn something new this fall? Do you want to understand the difference between things that are “complex” versus “complicated”? Have you always wanted to understand what the hell Jeff Goldblum’s character was talking about in Jurassic Park?
Well, you’re in luck! Check out Introduction to Complexity, a MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) being offered through the Santa Fe Institute. The course is being taught by Melanie Mitchell, a long-time member of the SFI community, and a professor of computer science at Portland State University. She taught this class last year, and all of the feedback I heard was very positive. Now, second time around, I assume that any kinks that might have existed will have been worked out.
The course officially started on September 29, but you can still enroll, since all of the material is online. And, it’s FREE!!
Here’s the official course description:
In this course you’ll learn about the tools used by scientists to understand complex systems. The topics you’ll learn about include dynamics, chaos, fractals, information theory, self-organization, agent-based modeling, and networks. You’ll also get a sense of how these topics fit together to help explain how complexity arises and evolves in nature, society, and technology. There are no prerequisites. You don’t need a science or math background to take this introductory course; it simply requires an interest in the field and the willingness to participate in a hands-on approach to the subject.
And here’s Melanie describing the course:
Check it out, as well as the other courses that will offered in the future through SFI’s Complexity Explorer program: http://www.complexityexplorer.org/online-courses