Complex Systems Summer School 2018-Preparation

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

Complex Systems Summer School 2018

Program Expectations

We expect that all participants will comply with the following requirements: 1) attend all lectures for the full duration of the program; 2) participate fully in the intellectual development and write-up of a group project and fulfill all related assignments and deadlines; 3) complete all surveys administered by SFI related to the CSSS, including pre-program survey, all faculty evaluations, and a post-program survey. Participants who do not meet these requirements may be asked to leave the program at the discretion of the director.

To get the most out of this intensive program, we strongly recommend that you clear your calendar as much as possible for the 4 weeks of CSSS.

Online Preparation

Recommended: If you haven't already taken the “Introduction to Complexity” course on SFI’s , the next session starts April 9th. You can enroll directly at

We also encourage you to explore the other online courses and tutorials on SFI’s They’re a great way to brush up on complex systems math and concepts.

Visit and review the Complexity Explorer Glossary.

Recommended Review

Prior to the beginning of the school, you are encouraged to review the following areas in mathematics, if you feel it is necessary. You will find discussions of these areas in any standard college-level calculus, linear algebra, or probability and statistics textbook.

Calculus: basic techniques for differentiation and integration, basic techniques for solving ordinary differential equations, partial differentiation, basic techniques for solving partial differential equations, basic techniques for solving series.

Linear algebra: solving linear systems of equations, vector spaces, matrix theory, eigenvectors and eigenvalues.

Probability and statistics: sample spaces, elements of probability calculations, binomial coefficients and elements of combinatorics, random variables (distributions, variance, and standard deviation).

Background readings related to lectures are added to the wiki under “Background Readings” as they become available.

Program Format

The school consists mainly of lectures and small group meetings/project work. One day per week, lectures will be held at the Santa Fe Institute campus.

The schedule on the wiki is updated as information becomes available. Most of the lectures will be scheduled in the mornings or early afternoons. Student projects are a major part of the school. Most projects are comprised of small teams of two to four people. Projects in the past have consisted of computer simulations, mathematical models, literature reviews, or combination of the above. The range of topics in the past has been broad.

Students will form working groups based on general topic interest. In these working groups students will form teams for doing projects, determine topics, and write short (one-page) project proposals. During the remainder of the school, the teams will carry out the projects. The final two days of the school are set aside for project presentations. One or more members of each team will give a 15-minute presentation on the results of the project. Each team will also submit a final write-up on the project. After the school is over, all papers will be posted in PDF format on the SFI website.

You do not need to come prepared with a project or project proposal. These will be formulated during the first week. If you have a project idea, you are welcome to share it with others.