Syllabus for Modelling Complex Systems

Modellering av komplexa system


  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1MA256
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Mathematics A1N, Computational Science A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2009-03-12
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2021-10-18
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2022
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits including 40 credits in mathematics. One of the courses Scientific Computing I, Scientific Computing KF and Introduction to Scientific Computing. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.
  • Responsible department: Department of Mathematics

Learning outcomes

This course will introduce the tools from mathematics, physics and computer science that have been used in understanding complex systems.
On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • implement simulation methods,for example state-based, individual-based and/or cellular automata models;
  • useapproximations in order to increase analytic understanding of simulation results;
  • explain methods for measuring and quantifying complex systems;
  • explain the importance of complex systems in modern science;
  • explain the role of computer simulations in providing understanding of such systems, while also developing an appreciation for the difficulties and limitations involved.


The course deals with methods for measuring and quantifying complex systems in modern science, especially numerical methods and software for simulations. Project work and laboratory work can involve topics such as Individual vs State-based simulations, Random processes, Mean-field approximations, Random walks and Diffusion approximations, Chaotic movement of Dynamic systems, Quantification of chaos, Self-organised critical phenomena, Cellular Automata, Sandpile model and epidemic models, and Interacting particle systems.


Strong emphasis on computer laboratory and project work; also lectures and seminars. The course will consist of a series of four projects and the laboratories will help the students work individually or in small groups on these projects.


Computer laboratory and project work.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2022

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Föreläsarens anteckningar

    Matematiska institutionen,

Last modified: 2022-04-26