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Complex Systems Teaching Activities



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Interactive Model Problem Set part of Teaching Activities
This is a problem set for the course Modeling and Assessment for Policy (graduate course at MIT). It is designed to enable students to use interactive models and reflect on their use in a policy context. It relates ...

Scenario building to understand complex systems part of Teaching Activities
Scenario building is a method of understanding and planning for outcomes of an uncertain future. It was initially developed by oil companies and was further developed during the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. In ...

Modeling the oceanic thermohaline circulation with STELLA part of Teaching Activities
This activity describes the construction of and then experimentation with a STELLA model of the thermohaline circulation in the north Atlantic. Based on a famous paper by Stommel (1961), this model exhibits two ...

Modeling Exsolution (and Perthite Formation) as an Example of Complex-System Behavior part of Teaching Activities
Students use a physical model, computer simulation, examples from the natural world, visualizations, and overarching thought experiments to explore this phenomenon. Exsolution embodies attributes of a complex ...

The Fishing Game part of Teaching Activities
The Fishing Game pits students against two virtual fishing companies. The goal is to maximize the company's bank account at the end of 10 years' fishing. This almost always results in a crash of the ...

Modeling U-Series Concordia/Discordia Using STELLA part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
U-Series dating techniques are widely used to determine the absolute ages of some of Earth's oldest rocks, but the concordia/discordia diagram can be quite difficult for students to grasp. I have produced a STELLA-based lab exercise to develop students' understanding of this important chronologic technique. Students create models of the two isotopic decay systems and run these models to create the concordia diagram. They then carry out experiments in which they "add" or "remove" varying amounts of lead or uranium in simulation of metamorphism. In the course of the lab, students are introduced to the concepts of exponential decay and secular equilibrium as well as modeling concepts such as the creation of if-then statements.



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