F&ES 606a / 2017-2018

Modeling a Dynamic World

Credits: 3
Fall 2017: Th, 10:00-12:50, Sage 41c

The human and natural systems of the world we live in are dynamic, adaptive, and constantly interacting. Many of us are engaged in understanding and finding solutions to complex challenges—such as eradicating chronic poverty, stopping resources degradation, improving institutional governance, or adaptating to global climate change—that very often arise due to interactions between these systems. The dynamic and complex adaptive nature of such challenges necessitates newer theories, methods, and tools that can conduct interdisciplinary analysis beyond traditional disciplinary approaches. Systems approach and thinking have moved from being an “in vogue” concept on the periphery to being fundamental to analysis in a variety of disciplines. At the same time, modeling and simulation, while used in a variety of engineering and management related disciplines, have gained significant ground in both complexity and sustainability science.

This course, while introducing theory associated with systems and sustainability science, is focused on providing hands-on fundamentals on modeling and simulation techniques originating in system dynamics. It engages in such questions as: What is a system? What is systems thinking? Why do we need systems thinking for sustainability science? What are models? How do we develop models? What is simulation? Why do we need modeling and simulation? What platforms, tools, and techniques can we learn to conduct modeling and simulation-based analysis? 
Limited to 20