Systems thinking is the ability to perform insightful and comprehensive problem solving of complex systems. Fundamental to systems thinking is system dynamics, an approach used to understand the nonlinear behavior of complex systems over time using stocks, flows, internal feedback-loops, a variety of functions, and time-delays. This course will investigate the needs, motivations, and frameworks of systems thinking employing causal-loop diagram archetypes, as well as establish foundational concepts and approaches for systems thinking problem construction. From these foundations, system dynamic approaches, analytical models-tools, and simulations will be constructed to mature foundational systems thinking problem frameworks for quick, insightful, and quantitative impact-analysis. A variety of systems thinking problems will be addressed through the assembly of causal-loop diagrams, followed by the construction of system dynamics models, with a specific focus on emerging challenges of supply management and healthcare systems engineering and delivery. The course concludes with a series of reflective and inspirational challenges and opportunities, with the goal of solidifying comprehensive systems thinking acumen. This course will use The Fifth Discipline by Peter M. Senge, Thinking in Systems – A Primer by Donella H. Meadows, and Systems Thinking Tools – A User’s Refence Guide by Daniel H. Kim as course textbooks. Also, a variety of relevant articles, papers, and recorded video material will be used. Vensim © (freeware version: https://vensim.com/ ) will be the system dynamics modeling tool used in the course.
EN.645.662 Introduction to Systems Engineering and EN.645.767 System Conceptual Design
Systems Thinking and Systems Dynamics
01/22/2024 - 05/07/2024