Winter School 2018


2016 Winter School


The great unexplored frontier is complexity…I am convinced that nations and people that master the new science of complexity will become the economic, cultural, and political superpowers of the next century.”

Heinz Pagels (1939-1988)​

The Dreams of Reason: The Computer and the Rise of the Science of Complexity (1988).

​“I think the next century will be the century of complexity.”

Stephen Hawking

​​In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, on January 23, 2000.


What is complexity science? What are complex systems?

And why do physicists like Stephen Hawking and Heinz Pagels think complexity science will be a dominant force, not only in shaping our pursuit of scientific truth, but also in changing how we think about societies, and our place in them?

The 2016 Winter School provides an overview of complexity and complex systems science that empowers participants search for their own answers to these questions. The knowledge gained will enable participants to apply complexity science ideas in their own domains.

Essentially, the school will:

  • Teach basic aspects of complexity and complex systems, answering the question: What makes a system complex? Aspects that will be covered include nonlinearity, order disorder & chaos, emergence and complex adaptive systems
  • Introduce methods, models and simulation tools to study the behaviours of complex systems and provide hands-on experience on through the use of software for building, simulating and visualizing complex networks. Participants are encouraged to bring their own data, work in groups mentored by instructors. Participants will then have the opportunity to present their own findings at the end of the week long course.
  • Provide insights into how complexity manifests itself in real life e.g. politics & governance, eco-systems, cities and spreading phenomena such as rumours, epidemics, economics and innovation.


Renowned Lecturers

Well known experts from Singapore (Peter M. A. Sloot and J. Stephen Lansing) and abroad (Brian Arthur, Geoffrey West, David Matchar​ and Stefan Thurner​) will conduct the lectures & hands-on sessions, lead discussions, provide coaching and supervision.

 Peter M. A. Sloot
 J. Stephen Lansing
brian arthur.jpg 
 W. Brian Arthur
geoffrey west.jpg
Geoffrey West

David Matchar.jpg 
David B. Matchar


stefan thurner.jpg
Stefan Thurner



There are three lectures every morning to introduce various concepts, theories and methods. The afternoons are for hands-on sessions analysing networks with Python (NetworkX), and to discuss specific interests, questions and applications. Please see the pro​gram​​ here.

Winter School Programme (25.02.16).pdfWinter School Programme.pdf

Tutors of Winter School 2016:

heads - updated.jpg 
Additionally, participants are strongly encouraged to attend the annual Complexity Conference “Silent Transformations” on 7-9 March 2016 organized by Para Limes at NTU. For more information, please click here.

Who Should Attend?​

The Winter School is open to anyone, local or overseas, from the public, private, non-for profit, commercial, industry, financial or academic sectors, with:

  • A genuine interest in discovering what complexity is about. How it manifests itself in the different fields of human interest and activities. How it can be studied and can be harnessed;
  • basic computer skills;
  • a motivation to use this introduction to deepen their understanding and apply that understanding to their work or study; and
  • 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; nor
  • strong computer programming skills.


Travel Fellowship (Overseas Participants only)

Two (2) travel fellowships will be awarded on a competitive basis. It covers a return direct route economy class airfare and local accommodation.

To apply, please submit your completed application form with:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • A letter of recommendation; and
  • ½ page letter of motivation​


Course Fee

FREE NTU staff & students on competitive basis at the sole discretion of the organiser. 
To apply, please submit CV and ½ page letter of motivation
SGD300 covers coffee breaks, lunches & reception. 

 ​** Overseas participants are to arrange and pay for travel to an​d accommodation in Singapore.



Places are limited. An email notification will be sent upon successful registration. Do note: successful registration does not imply confirmation of a place at the school. A separate email will be sent to confirm your place.

Fee paying participants (Registration Closed) 
  • Your place is only confirmed when payment has been successfully made to NTU. Soon after you will receive an email confirming a place. Unfortunately we cannot provide refunds in the case of withdrawal or non-attendance.​​

NTU staff & students for limited complimentary places (Registration Closed) 
  • You will receive confirmation of place in last week of January 2016.

Travel Fellowship applicants (Registration Closed)

  • ​You will receive confirmation of place by the 2nd week of January 2016.


a) Cashier's Order (Singapore based participant) or  Demand Draft (overseas participant)

  • made in Singapore dollars in favour of “Nanyang Technological University”.
  • write your name, email address and registration ID and “2016 Winter School - Complexity Science” on the reverse side of the bank draft.
  • attach the notification email is to bank draft and send to:

     Nanyang Technological University
     Complexity Institute
     Innovation Centre Blk 2, #02-245
     18 Nanyang Drive
     Singapore 637723
     Attn: Davina Koh
​​     Re: NTU Winter School 2016 – Complexity Science

b) Telegraphic Transfer

Fees are to be sent to:

​Name Nanyang Technological University
​​Bank Name ​Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited
​​Bank Address ​65 Chulia Street, OCBC Centre Singapore 049513
​Bank Account No. ​​537-010027-001


Note: all bank charges incurred in participants’ home countries and Singapore are to be borne by participants. ​​Please state in telegraphic transfer slip that payment is for “NTU Winter School 2016 – Complexity Science”.

Email the telegraphic transfer slip to: wintersch@​ with your registration ID indicated.

Spread the words

Share this leaflet to anyone interested or may benefit from the programme!

Winter School 2016 Leaflet.pdfWinter School 2016 Leaflet.pdf

Enquiry: Ms Davina Koh at email: or tel: 65 - 6908 3485​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​