This page contains information and support material for my book, An Introduction to Complex Systems. The text explores a variety of large-scale phenomena — global warming, ice ages, water, poverty — and uses these case studies as a motivation to explore nonlinear dynamics, power-law statistics, and complex systems. Although the detailed mathematical descriptions of these topics can be challenging, the consequences of a system being nonlinear, power-law, or complex are in fact quite accessible. This book blends a tutorial approach to the mathematical aspects of complex systems, together with a complementary narrative on the global/ecological/societal implications of such systems.
Nearly all engineering undergraduate courses focus on mathematics and systems which are small scale, linear, and Gaussian. Unfortunately there is not a single large-scale ecological or social phenomenon that is scalar, linear, and Gaussian! This book offers students insights to better understand the large-scale problems facing the world and to realize that these cannot be solved by a single, narrow academic field or perspective. Instead, the book seeks to emphasize understanding, concepts, and ideas, in a way that is mathematically rigorous, so that the concepts do not feel vague, but not so technical that the mathematics get in the way.
- Table of contents
- Overview and product flyer PDF (from first edition)
- Textbook chapters one and two (PDF)
- List of case studies and examples
Every chapter has suggested further reading, the links of which are collected here for convenience. Each chapter has a list of problems to work on, some of which are analytical, some numerical, and at least one qualitative discussion based on a reading:
Errata - please email me regarding errors which are not listed here: