E262: Complex Non-linear Systems: An Overview

Exploration of basic concepts of nonlinear phenomena and their dynamics leading to chaos and complexity. We will try to look at a variety of natural objects and processes, and their mathematical counterparts to see if we can characterize such features as ruggedness, structure, contingency, “butterfly effect”. The focus will be on the development of intuition and on applications coupled with some mathematical derivations. Expected outcome: development of a new Weltanschauung and thinking about scaling laws, sensitivity to initial conditions, small changes and large effects.