Studying in Complexity Science
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How can I find out more about complexity science?



Fully-funded PhD places are available at the new Center for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Computational Modelling. The CDT pursues computational modelling research spanning engineering, computer science, mathematics, and the physical, natural and life sciences.

There are a growing number of books and websites that introduce and explain complexity science.


Key Websites and Recommended Introductory Reading

  • The Principia Cybernetica is a self-proclaimed organic cybernetic forum for understanding system science and complexity. It provides a very complete overview of the theoretical aspects of complexity science as well as definitions of many of the buzz words often used by complexity scientists.
  • The Santa Fe Institute has conducted complexity research since 1984 and continues to provide a centre to unite complexity researchers from across the world.

Other Web Resources

  • ONCE-CS stands for the Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems. It provides a portal to complexity science research across Europe. It is funded by the European Commission by the FET unit (Future and Emerging technology).
  • Exystence stands for the the Complex Systems Network of Excellence. It is the sister site of ONCE-CS. Again it funded by the European Commission to develop collaboration among European researchers interested in Complex Systems, from fundamental concepts to applications, and involving academia, business and industry.
  • Complexity society is a UK focal sight that aims to promote the theory of complexity in education, government, the health service and business.
  • The Centre for Complexity Research promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and hosted a recent conference in the complexity sciences at Liverpool University.
  • The Complexity Digest is an international and interactive forum of complexity constituting a useful amalgamation of current research papers on modern complexity issues.
  • The New England Complex Systems Institute is an umbrella organization that encompasses many of the leading companies and universities involved in complexity research.
  • Ben Gonshaw's site provides some interesting material about complexity in the context of digital media and game design.
  • Evolution, Complexity and COgnition group site includes links to related sites.

General Reading

  • Complexity: A Guided Tour Melanie Mitchell.
  • At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity, Stuart Kauffman.
  • Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds, Mitchel Resnick.
  • Signs of Life: How Complexity Pervades Biology, Ricard Sole.
  • Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos, Mitchell Waldrop.
  • Harnessing Complexity: Organizational Implications of a Scientific Frontier, Robert Axelrod and Michael Cohen.
  • The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems, Fritjof Capra.
  • Frontiers of Complexity: The Search for Order in a Chaotic World, Peter Coveney.
  • The Computational Beauty of Nature: Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation , Gary William Flake.
  • Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity, John Gribbin.
  • Emergence: From Chaos to Order, John Holland.
  • Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software, Steven Johnson.
  • Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World, Kevin Kelly.
  • Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos, Roger Lewin.
  • Exploring Complexity: An Introduction, Gregoire Nicolis.
  • The Mind, The Brain, And Complex Adaptive Systems, edited by Harold J. Morowitz and Jerome L. Singer.

Computer Science and Complexity


  • Cities and Complexity: Understanding Cities withCellular Automata, Agent-Based Models, and Fractals, Michael Batty.
  • Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences, David Byrne.

Dynamical Systems and Network Theory

  • Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi.
  • Chaos: Making a New Science, James Gleick.
  • The Structure and Dynamics of Networks, Mark Newman, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Duncan J. Watts.
  • Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos: With Applications to Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Engineering, Steven Strogatz
  • Sync: How Order Emerges from Chaos in the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life, Steven Strogatz.
  • Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks Between Order and Randomness, Duncan J. Watts.
  • A New Kind of Science, Stephen Wolfram.

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