Complexity Explorer

The Santa Fe Institute established Complexity Explorer to serve as an online portal to the science of complexity and effectively also to provide a glimpse of the field the institute is doing extensive research in.  Led by a network of renowned faculties of the Santa Fe Institute, Complexity Explorer is presented as a web-based platform and continuously growing resource of tutorials and massive open online courses, which were developed to welcome any individual (from novice to experienced researcher) to the world of complexity science.  Complexity Explorer provides a vast range of frameworks, toolkits and also applications to assist individuals in becoming complexity scholars.  Hence, it provides a repository of educational material on complex systems science and a variety of free courses to undertake, including some courses requiring a tuition fee.  All materials on Complexity Explorer is freely available to any individual for any non-commercial use.  Please see the following link for further information on the Creative Commons licensing that is applicable to all material:

The following outlines a number of (past, present & future*) courses presented by Complexity Explorer:

  • Introduction to Complexity
  • Introduction to Dynamical Systems and Chaos
  • Introduction to Agent-based Modelling
  • Nonlinear Dynamics: Mathematical and Computational Approaches
  • Information Dynamics and Complex Networks
  • Fractals and Scaling

* Active or Archived courses may be presented again in the future.

In addition to the above courses, Complexity Explorer also provides a Tutorials page where “mini-courses” could be found, for the purpose of introducing students to important techniques in studying complex systems.  These tutorials differ from the above courses: they are always available and no tests or certificates are associated with them.  Hence, it is not the intention for these tutorials to offer a substitute for any of the larger courses.

Furthermore, the Complexity Explorer team is currently also developing the following five components:

  1. Source Materials Search Engine: An introduction to the science of complexity and also a methodology for highlighting complexity research results by means of references to books, papers, articles, tutorials and videos
  2. Complexity Curriculum Generator: A resource providing teachers from middle school to university level with syllabi, course materials and modules for homework.
  3. Virtual Laboratory: A repository of demos and simulations, which can be used for teaching and learning key concepts like fractals, networks and scaling.
  4. Glossary: Key terms relating to complexity science and also their definitions.
  5. Feedback and Submissions: An environment for users to submit new syllabi, glossary information and paper summaries and responses related to Complexity Explorer.

Having completed both the Introduction to Complexity and Introduction to Agent-based Modelling courses on Complexity Explorer, teaching and subject knowledge of the lecturers were found to be of the highest standard, typically reflecting the standards set and maintained by the Santa Fe Institute in general.