How does Social Science benefit from Complexity Theory and Computational Methods?
March 14th, 2006 by JTJ

That's the hed on one of the pages for a relatively new academic offering at UCLA.  This may be the first time, at least in North America, that a university is officially recognizing that Complexity can indeed be the “linking” theory/methodology for the social sciences.  (And since we include journalism in the social science camp, especially Analytic Journalism, here we are.)  Yes, John Holland et al. have been officially working on complexity for years at the Univ. of Michigan, but he and most of the rest tend to cluster in physics, math and computer science. 

The UCLA site says: “
We explore complex systems inhabited by human beings.
These systems are biological, social, cultural, technological and creative.
Our method is to analyze the behavior of the inhabitants of
these systems and their interactions. Many interactions are indirect with
multiple causes and effects. Also, we construct computer models,
synthesize virtual worlds, and run simulation experiments.

Be sure to click on the “What is HCS” link and note the publication on the right, “Linking Social Science Disciplines” 

From the October 2003 Department of Education report,

“The Use of Complexity Science”

“An interdisciplinary, whole systems approach is also being used to
redesign college and university curricula in the sciences, humanities
and social sciences. An interesting example of this is the UCLA Center
for Human Complex Systems.”

It's an informative read.

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