Complex Systems Seminar

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Throughout the first year, a seminar series is held in which the students present and discuss recent findings and results reported in the scientific literature. Complex systems science is a large and very heterogeneous research field. When preparing a presentation in the Complex systems seminar course, the students have an opportunity to "dig a little deeper" into a specific area that they find interesting. The students in the class will during the class be listening to 40-50 seminars on different topics, mostly given by their friends in the class but also by the teachers in the program and other guest lecturers. Overall this gives a more fair coverage of complex systems as a field than is possible in the regular classes. In addition the class offers training in a very central skill: oral presentation.

Teacher: Claes Andersson

Teaching Assistants: Erik Edlund, Oskar Lindgren, Vilhelm Verendel

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Claes Andersson

My group is concerned with developing new ways of understanding societal systems from a complexity perspective. In this work we develop new models and theory and also work quite a bit on method development. At the moment we have two main application areas. The first is the evolution of cultures through the palaeolithic. Here we are interested in contributing to building a better understanding of how we came to be how we came to be (socially and biologically) – which is essential for putting our historical and modern societies in perspective. The second is an interest in what has been characterized as “sustainability transitions”: how we can bring about transitions in society – technological, economic, social and so on – to practices that do not undermine their own existence by their very operation. But this is a highly challenging task. Compared with “naturally occurring” transitions, sustainability transitions are economically and politically “uphill reactions”. Their benefits are diffuse, hard to quantify and reside in the future. Often their benefits are even negatively defined: they consist in averting some disaster that we have not and should not produce an example of. Their costs on the other hand are focal, immediate and highly quantifiable. The third is urban morphology and dynamics from a perspective of complex systems and spatial interaction via models of accessibility.

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