Waters Lab

Complexity Science

BIO 479 (4.0 cr)

Introduction to Complexity Science

This is an advanced topics course with a programming lab designed to introduce students to the principles of complexity theory in the life sciences and to train them in the effective and ethical communication of scientific ideas, data, and models. Students are not required to have any previous mathematical training or programming experience as these skills will be developed from scratch. Students will be introduced to methods including mathematical modeling, scaling analysis, network science, cellular automata, chaos theory, and nonlinear dynamics. Laboratory exercises will focus on learning R, a widely-used and powerful open-source platform for statistical computing. Students will complete projects that explore a topic in complexity science while developing modeling, simulation, and visualization methods to communicate these ideas in novel and effective ways.