Welcome to the University of Southampton's Institute for Complex Systems Simulation.
The £12m Institute was launched in 2009 and is jointly funded by EPSRC (£6 million) and the University of Southampton and its partners (£6 million).
The Institute brings together world-class simulation modelling research activities from across the University of Southampton and hosts Southampton's Doctoral Training Center (DTC) in Complex Systems Simulation, running a doctoral training programme that is the first of its kind in the UK.
What is Complexity Science?
Famously, the physicist Stephen Hawking has predicted that the 21st Century will be "the century of complexity". What did he mean?
Research at the ICSS falls within what has come to be called Complexity Science, an attempt to better understand systems in which aggregate, system-level behaviour arises from the interactions between component parts in a way that is not straightforward. Whereas the temperature of an ideal gas is just a simple average over the kinetic energy of its component molecules, the "temperature" of a football crowd or the temperature of the earth do not behave in the same way. Adding some more energy to some of the gas molecules will increase the macroscopic temperature proportionally. By contrast, adding a little more "heat" to a few members of a football crowd can result in a disproportionate, or non-linear, change in behaviour, sometimes bringing about macroscopic surges, songs, and even Mexican waves. This kind of interesting relationship between the individual components of a system and the system's global behaviour is characteristic of many important and intriguing domains: ecosystems, brains, cities, markets, the internet.
The growing significance of understanding and managing such systems means that Complexity Science is increasingly being recognised as a critical area of enquiry by industry, government and science itself.
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If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Institute Manager, Nicki Lewin (+44 23 8059 4510, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Institute of Complex Systems Simulation (ICSS) hosts the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Complexity Science at the University of Southampton (CDTs were formerly knows as Doctoral Training Centres, DTC)