Chaos, Complexity, Self-Org
How does the complex emerge from the simple? Can complex phenomena, such as life and consciousness, be reduced to a purely physical description in terms of “fundamental particles” interacting through “fundamental forces”? Are there phenomena so complex that they cannot be reduced to a more fundamental level? Questions such as these lie at the heart of complexity science, a new conceptual framework for understanding emergent complexity in the natural and social sciences. Texts will include James Gleick, Chaos, and M. Mitchell Waldrop, Complexity. Students will learn to write simple simulation programs using Mathematica software. Students with high school algebra, pre-calculus, and some familiarity with computer programming will be comfortable with the content of this course. 3 hrs. sem.