Winter School 2017


2014 Winter School



24 - 28 February 2014 | Nanyang Executive Centre, Singapore
Complexity is one of the buzzwords of this era. A synonym for what is not understood, an expression of deep intellectual insight, the new challenge of science, the promise of solutions to wicked problems, the word complexity is used to indicate all that and more.
“We live in a complex world and are surrounded by complex systems: from a biological cell, made of thousands of different molecules that seamlessly work together, to millions of computer systems that should work together, to our society, a collection of seven billion individuals that try to work and live together. These adaptive complex systems display endless signatures of order, disorder, self-organization and self-annihilation. Understanding, quantifying and handling this complexity is one of the biggest scientific challenges of our time.”
But what is complexity really, why do physicists like Stephen Hawkins and Heinz Pagels say that “the 21st century is the age of complexity”, and that “the nations and people who master the new sciences
of complexity will become the economic, cultural, and political superpowers of the twenty-first century”?
The NTU-Warwick Winter School will provide an introduction to complexity and complexity science that will help participants look for their own answers to these questions and apply those in their own world, be it government, industry or academia.

The Winter School is open to both local and overseas participants from government/NGOs, industry/private sector, and universities.
Participants should have:
  •       A genuine interest in discovering what complexity is about, how it manifests itself in the different fields of human interest and activities, how it is researched and how it can be harnessed.
  •       A motivation to use this introduction to deepen their understanding about it and to apply that understanding to their work or study.
  •       An academic degree (or equivalent) in any field.
Participants do not need:
  •       Any prior knowledge of complexity.
  •       More than high school level of knowledge of mathematics, physics and social sciences.

2014 Winter School
The 2014 Winter School will:
  •       Introduce and discuss basic aspects of complexity and complex systems, answering the question: What makes a system complex? Aspects that will be covered include nonlinearity, order disorder and chaos, emergence and complex adaptive systems
  •       Introduce methods to study the behaviour of complex systems: Models and simulation tools that will be introduced include complex networks, agent based models, evolutionary algorithms, game theory
  •       Provide insights in how complexity manifests itself in real life such as: Politics and governance, complexity thinking in decision support, eco-systems socio-systems and their interactions, cities, spreading phenomena such as rumours and epidemics, economics, and entrepreneurship.

The week long Winter School will have morning sessions with up to three lectures to introduce the various concepts, theory and methods, and kickstart the discussion sessions in the afternoons. Evenings will be dedicated to working groups and seminars. There will be ample opportunities to get hands-on experience with modeling and simulation, and for participants to discuss specific interests, questions and applications.
Renowned experts from abroad and Singapore will conduct the lectures, lead discussions and provide coaching and supervision.

Participants are also encouraged to attend the annual conference organized by the Complexity Institute at NTU in the days following the winter School, from 3-5 March 2014. Details of the conference will be announced shortly.
The number of participants is limited to 50. Registration will be on a first-come first-serve basis. To register, please complete and email the attached form, no later than 15 December 2013, to:
Director, Complexity Institute at NTU
Confirmation and Payment of Fees
Applicants will be notified by email regarding the status of their applications within 2 weeks of receiving the registration form.  Applicants will be then prompted to complete payment (cheque or telegraphic transfer only) within the following 3 weeks. If applicants anticipate seeking support from their home institution/organisation, we strongly encourage them to do so as soon as possible.
It is understood that all overseas participants will arrange and pay for their own meals, local accommodation and travel to Singapore. The following fees (inclusive of course materials) apply:
Industry/ private sector : SGD 900
Government and agencies : SGD 600
Faculty and Postdocs : SGD 450
Graduate students (non-NTU) : SGD 300
Graduate students (NTU) : SGD 200
Travel Fellowship (For Overseas Participants Only)
5 travel fellowships will be awarded on a competitive basis. It will cover course fees, 1 round trip airfare on economy class, and local accommodation.
To apply, please submit your completed application form together with the following:
  •       1 letter of recommendation
  •        ½ page letter of motivation
Questions about the Winter School should be addressed to Mr Jan Vasbinder at email address :