This course focuses on the application of modeling and simulation principles to complex systems. A complex system is a large-scale nonlinear system consisting of interconnected or interwoven parts (such as a biological cell, the economy, or an ecological system). The course begins with an overview of complex systems, followed by modeling and simulation techniques based on nonlinear differential equations, networks, stochastic models, cellular automata, and swarm-like systems. Existing software systems will be used to illustrate systems and provide practical experience. During the semester, each student will complete a modeling project of a complex system. While this course is intended for computer science or engineering students interested in modeling any complex system, it may also be taken by Bioinformatics students interested in modeling complex biological systems. Students interested in bioinformatics will study a parallel track exposing them to existing whole cell modeling tools such as E-Cell, COPASI, and BioSpice.
Knowledge of elementary probability and statistics and previous exposure to differential equations. Students applying this course to the MS in Bioinformatics should also have completed at least one Bioinformatics course prior to enrollment.
This course may be counted toward a three-course concentration in Bioinformatics.