The course will show you how complexity and uncertainty influence and constrain our decisions.

About the course

Our world seems to ever become more complex and uncertain. Future leaders must be able to act under these conditions. This course provides you with the broad scientific background necessary to develop yourself into one of the future’s key decision makers. First, this course will address the core concepts of complexity and uncertainty. Next, guest lecturers will talk about related sub-fields. Finally, relating this all back together in case studies about financial stability and city development will conclude the course.

The course uses the free Netlogo software to interact with agent-based simulation models.

What you will learn

  • Complex Systems
  • Fundamental Uncertainty
  • Graph Theory and Networks
  • Emergent Behaviour
  • Agent-Based Modelling
  • Evolutionary Dynamics
  • Cellular Automata
  • Self-Organization
  • Path dependence and complexity in History
  • Decision making under Uncertainty, Heuristics and Biases
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Stability and Crises
  • Growth and Development of Cities

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explain the difference between complex and complicated
  • Explain the difference between risk and uncertainty
  • Explain the following concepts: emergence, networks, evolutionary dynamics, social self-organisation, and path dependence
  • Experiment with complex systems in simple agent-based models.
  • Apply the course concepts and tools to the social sciences of history, entrepreneurship, economics, and spatial planning
  • Debate how complexity and uncertainty influence human decision making and how you can counter these effects

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This course is for anyone who needs to make decisions in a complex and uncertain context (e.g. managers and project coordinators). The course will be taught at undergraduate level. Basic knowledge of economic, financial institutions, mathematics and logic will be helpful.

About the instructor

Lex Hoogduin is a professor at the University of Groningen (Complexity and Uncertainty). He also has a number of supervisory functions and has been advisor to the first president of the European Central Bank.

Starting date: 4 September, 2017

Duration: 7 weeks, 5 hours per week

Language: English

Instructors: Lex Hoogduin

Institution:  University of Groningen


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