Complexity Explorer Santa Few Institute

November: A Month of Reflection and Development

09 Nov 2017

Complexity Explorer HQ (the porch-facing office in SFI) is digging deep and hitting our projects hard this fall in anticipation of a 2018 full of course development and new content. Read on to see what we have in store for you in November - a new swag shop, a new studio, new Green Chile Science, a chance to join us at SFI this summer, and more! 


Complexity Explorer’s New Shop is Now Open 

We’re ready to sell you our swag and we're very very excited! Our logo got a great overhaul this year and two beautiful winning treatments that we've plastered all over a huge range of products! You can now show your Complexity Explorer love on mugs, cell phone casesmuscle tees, hoodies, baby hoodies - more options than we would know how to incorporate into a single wardrobe. 

Finally, we want to give a BIG thank you to those of you who submitted a design - Jaye Oliver, Dianela Osorio, Enrico Siardo, Hajeem Mars and our two winners, Brennan Klein and Steve Teschker. We had over 400 responses to our survey, so our selection process was successfully robust and confident.

The perks of hosting our shop on Threadless are pretty great too - they ship internationally!!! Our wonderful overseas community can now buy merchandise, which we've been needing for years. Additionally, shipping is free until December 15th! Get your orders in now and let your colors fly. 


Fall 2017 Semester's Courses Coming to a Close 

The fall semester here at Complexity Explorer is nearing its close, with both Nonlinear Dynamics and Dynamical Systems and Chaos are approaching their ends. Both Dr. Liz Bradley and Dr. Dave Feldman have released the entirety of their course material and are available to help answer your questions and help you through the material until the courses close. Nonlinear Dynamics will be open until Midnight MST, December 19th, 2017, and Dynamical Systems will be open until Midnight MST, November 20th, 2017

If you’re enrolled and have fallen behind, you have a chance to complete the course and get your certificate before its close. If you’re a lightning fast learner, there’s still time to start and complete Nonlinear Dynamics before the certificate earning window is closed, and if you’re a beyond-the-speed of light learner, try your hand at Dynamical Systems! You have 14 days left! 


The Inaugural Complexity Challenge Results

Congratulations to Ellen Badgley, Mika Straka, Zhiya Zuo and Rohan Mehta! These four individuals submitted the highest ranked solutions to our first ever Complexity Challenge.  Inspired by the very real and urgent problems around designing autonomous vehicle systems, 50 invited students were presented with an abstract checkerboard problem to solve in any way they could think of.  The results were fascinating and the whole experiment was a great success.  Read about the pilot Challenge here, go visit the Challenges page for even more information.  

We are already planning our next Complexity Challenge: expect to see one pop up for a Spring 2018 start.  For those of you eager to test your skills and intuition on one of these questions, we'll be opening up the application process in the next month so you can gain access and enroll at your leisure when the next Challenge opens up.  More information coming in the December update!


Applications for SFI In-Person Education Programs Open Now 

Complexity Explorer is but one half of the Santa Fe Institute’s education platform, and our other half has opened enrollment for summer 2018. We are now accepting applications for the 2018 Research Experience for Undergraduates and graduate and professional-level Complex Systems Summer School, now in its 30th year(!). This year we’re highly encouraging Complexity Explorer students to apply and show off all that you’ve learned online. These programs are great opportunities to take your skills offline and into the ‘real world’, meet other complexity scholars and give your career a major boost. 



Agent-based Modeling student projects 

Some very cool models came out of our most recent run of Agent-Based Modeling, and now you can see some of the coolest. Students submitted a write-up of their projects as well as their models, so check out the article, download the models and see how you can play with and build on your peers’ work.


This Month in Subtitling 

O subtitlers, how we do love you so! Your efforts are integral to our goal of maximum access to complex systems science, and your dedication to the cause shows in the consistent progress we see on subtitle updating. September’s dent in our accessibility quest came to a total of 134 minutes subtitled, tracking almost identically to August. User Diego Diaz, a stalwart of subtitling and one of our top all-time performers, produced a very solid 42 minutes of subtitles. Our runner-up is dark horse Robert Tucker, a self- reported polyglot listing 5 languages on his user profile, has contributed 32 minutes in his first subtitling endeavor since January 2016! 

Last and not least, we have a new member of the 120+ Club! User Mujun Chen, last months’ most prolific producer, squeaked past the 120 minute mark with a subtle seven minutes of contribution. If you'd like to learn more about subtitling material for Complexity Explorer, click here. Thank you all so much for your work! 


Complexity Explorer’s new Video Studio is Complete 

After much more drilling, gluing, painting and welding than you’d think was necessary for an online platform, we’re finally ready to showcase our new video studio. Designed to produce great looking, dynamic and easy to binge-watch learning content, this new studio features a professional green screen setup, interview and multi-instructor-ready audio equipment and a very cool lightboard, offering an exciting range of content types. Watch for new content to come out in the following weeks showcasing our new setup! 

Green Chile Science #3 is Now Live 

Drs. Paul Hooper and Vanessa Ferdinand take on three levels of spice and some spicy-hot takes in our newest episode of Green Chile Science! Dr. Ferdinand, a cultural evolution scientist, explains exactly what cultural evolution is and how she's investigating it. Scope the episode here, and check out the first two episodes here


Fundraising and a donation drive request: 

As some of you know, our yearly donation drive is approaching in December. Yes, it’s a time when we’ll be asking for some extra support, but it’s also a time for us to pause and reflect on our most valuable asset: you. Our students, hailing from 100+ different countries around the world, are the reason that we do this work and consistently inspire us to work harder to make more and better material for you. Because we believe that the most powerful stories are personal, this November, we’d like to hear from you: Send a video testimonial (1 minute long or less) about your experience with Complexity Explorer to We want to highlight the real global diversity of our community and hear how Complexity Explorer has impacted you. With your stories, we'll reach out to our community and set up a terrific drive to support more complexity learning content in 2018.

We have now raised $14,800 of our $30,000 goal for donations in 2017. While it may be a steep uphill to reach our goal, we believe we can make it with a little help from our friends! 

 Thanks all!

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