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Syllabus

A pdf of the syllabus for SIOC 216A Introduction to the Physics of Complex Systems 'Winter' 2021 can be downloaded by clicking here.

SIOC 216A Introduction to the Physics of Complex Systems
Winter Quarter 2021 Tu/Th 2:00-3:20PM ONLINE – Check the course web site for links and further info!
Optional Weekly Homework/Discussion meeting: MONDAYS 5-7PM PT

Office Hours (tentative, check web site for changes):
100-300PM Mondays // 1230-130PM Tuesdays, Thursdays // 800PM Thursdays

Instructor: bt werner bwerner@ucsd.edu
Web Site: https://courses.complex-systems-laboratory.org/sioc216a check it out!
20 Class Meetings
– Weekly Homework problems in Octave (open source matlab)/Matlab and/or qualitative problem solving using complexity.
– 30 min presentation plus 15 min questions at end of quarter on a topic related to complex systems
Graded S/U (except by exception - if you need a grade to satisfy a requirement)

Goals of SIOC 216A
–acquire a solid understanding of the concepts and framework of the study of complex systems
–learn the practical methods used to model and analyze complex systems
–discuss modeling, measurement and data analysis strategies for complex systems
–survey some of the ways that complexity is applied in the physical, biological and social sciences.

Who should take SIOC 216A?
The course emphasizes concepts and basic methodologies. It is directed both towards quantitatively oriented students in the physical, biological and social sciences with a research or general educational interest in ways to conceptualize, formulate and solve problems involving complicated systems AND towards students interested in more qualitative analysis approaches in the humanities and social sciences (some of the material on quantitative approaches to dynamics might be challenging, though).

Course Policies
Respect for all participants in SIO 216a and their varying backgrounds, knowledge and life experience is required. SIO 216a is a safe zone for BIPOC, womxn, queers, alternately abled folks, economically disadvantaged people, youth, elders, those who have experienced violence, undocumented people, religious minorities and anyone, individually or as a group, who has been oppressed.

Ground Rules: The number one ground rule which we will all follow is to engage in respectful and considerate debate and discussion in the classroom. Follow the step up/step back rule.

Broad Perspectives: All participants in this class benefit from a broad range of perspectives, and the instructorsof this course highly values these perspectives.

Accommodations: If you need any accommodations for disability, illness, or other reason please see bt so they can create an accommodation plan for your success. If you have a disability/alternate ability or condition that compromises your ability to complete the requirements of this course, please inform bt as soon as possible of your needs. All reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate you.

English-language Learning Needs: Some students will need to utilize office hours for extra background/ direction on the material. ELL students are encouraged to consult resources at the OASIS center (858-534-3760).

Cheating and Plagiarism: Cheating and/or plagiarism are not tolerated behaviors at UCSD. If you are caught cheating or plagiarizing someone else’s work, it will result in a failing grade and your infraction will be referred to your department, division or college for disciplinary action. Sharing and collaborative work is encouraged, but please write up your assignments on your own in your own words. Any questions? Contact bt.

Class Discussions: Everyone is encouraged to commit to and participate fully in class discussions (either by attending class or through discussion forums before and after class) and group projects, and to honor, respect and make space for the disparate intellectual perspectives that might emerge. If you find that you are participating a lot, please step back to allow others to contribute; if you find you aren't participating as much as others, please step up and contribute more.

Online: SIOC 216A will be taught online in Winter 2021. If because of timezone differences, employment, or pandemic-related obligations or stresses, you cannot attend class, please participate via discussion forums before and after class. Details for attending class or participating offline will be posted to the course web site. Please contact the instructor bt if you will not be attending class and for a web site account.

Grading
--class participation (during or before or after class)/group problems 30%
[questions and answers during class or on the web site's discussion forum]
--homework (qualitative OR quantitative OR a mix of both) 35%
[weekly – available on fridays, due the following friday (tentative)]
--final project/presentation 35%
[30 min presentation plus 15 min questions at end of quarter on a topic related to complex systems]

INTRODUCTION
1. What is Complexity? Approaches to and History of Complex Systems
2. The Tools and Concepts of Complexity
3. Assemblage Theory and Complexity

DYNAMICS APPROACH AND PATTERNS
4. Nonlinearity, Dissipation, Phase Space, Attractors, Maps and Feedbacks
5. Stability of Attractors and Bifurcations
6. Patterns, Feedbacks, Self-organization and Dynamical Slaving

SIMULATION FRAMEWORKS
7. Cellular Automata
8. Complex Adaptive Systems and Artificial Life

OPTIMIZATION
9. Nonlinear Optimization, Simulated Annealing and Genetic Algorithms
10. The Brain and Neural Networks

CHAOS
11. Routes to Deterministic Chaos, Chaotic Systems
12. Nonlinear Time Series and Spatial Forecasting

MULTI-SCALE COMPLEX SYSTEMS
13. Translations to Dynamics
14. Hierarchical Complex Systems

AGENT-BASED MODELING OF COMPLEX SYSTEMS
15. Agent-Based Modeling
16. The Stock Market

SOCIAL SYSTEMS AND ANTI-BLACKNESS
17. Societal Institutions and Behavior
18. Dynamics of Anti-Blackness and Black Liberation Struggles

PANDEMIC AND SUMMARY
19. COVID-19 Pandemic as a Manifestation of the Societal-Environmental Coupled System
20. Course Summary and What's Next?

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