Complexity Explorer Santa Few Institute

Looking to 2020: Your Feedback and Support

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01 Nov 2019
Complex Systems Biology Social Systems Machine Learning

A Note from Carrie Cowan

Lately on the Santa Fe Institute campus, desert winds whip through the juniper trees every afternoon and gust under the doors of our Education office. The big sky above the Sangre de Cristo mountains is noticeably absent of birds, as they migrate south to enjoy their endless summer. Talk about a complex system. A flock of barn swallows travels thousands of kilometers each year, from northern Europe to southern Africa, relying on cues from the sun, stars, smells and magnetic fields. Guided by nearest neighbors and diffusion, the self-organizing flock makes the journey back and forth, again and again.

SFI Campus at sunset

Complexity Explorer is likewise undertaking a journey of sorts. We recently, and gratefully, welcomed our new education coordinator Isa Ruiz, whom you will meet below. Isa brings her expertise in online learning to direct Complexity Explorer's future. Next year, we will expand our curriculum with new courses, including one on computation, from SFI professor Cristopher Moore  and one a practicum on dynamical systems, from SFI professor Sidney Redner  We’re also mapping a new migration route, one in which we can deliver more content to our loyal Complexity Explorers while strengthening our existing courses to reach new complex systems audiences.

We want your help. Travel with us. Tell us what Complexity Explorer means to you. And, if you can, please donate to show your support.

So when the winter winds calm and the swallows return to sing again, we look forward to celebrating a new year of complex systems education with you, our incredible Complexity Explorer friends.

If you have a moment - please fill out our quick survey. We would LOVE to here from you 

2019 Fall Fundraiser

We are happy to announce the launch of our 2019 Fall Fundraiser for Complexity Explorer. Although almost all of our courses are free to take, they are not free to produce and maintain. The future of our free online courses — and the Complexity Explorer site as a whole — depends on donations from participants.  If you are able, please consider making a donation to Complexity Explorer. Your gift is fully tax deductible in the US. One hundred percent of your donation will support our online education programs.

Your donations last year helped us expand our 2019 Complexity Explorer offerings.  We raised over $13000 dollars and almost reached our goal of $15000.

This year, we are switching things up and aiming for a participation goal of getting 1000 people to donate as much or as little as they can.

We have some big plans for 2020, including the launch of 3 brand new courses. 

Also, every donation from November 4th through December 4th gives you a chance to win some of our Complexity Explorer gear!

Donate $25 or more to be automatically entered to win a Complexity Explorer t-shirt or tote bag 

Donate $100 or more to be automatically entered to win a super secret surprise prize


Welcome to Isa Ruiz – Online Education Coordinator!

We are so excited to welcome Isa to the CE team and we asked her to answer a few questions to introduce herself to the community. Isa Ruiz

What is your favorite thing about SFI? 

The people here are incredible and the culture of knowledge sharing is so valuable and wonderful. From interesting conversations in hallways, to SFI press books, and of course Complexity Explorer courses, I am learning so many new things every single day.

What is your favorite thing in complex systems? 

I don’t like to pick favorites but I have a growing interest in machine learning and AI. I have always been very interested in the emerging technologies and their impact on our society and morality. It is so exciting to be able to take a deeper dive into the subject and realize how AI is already so integrated into so many aspects of our day to day lives - and what the implications of that might be now and in the future. 

What is your favorite organism? 

Red Octopus

Octopuses are my current favorite, and I really like cephalopods in general. They are fascinating creatures and extremely intelligent. Lately, I have been learning about the evolution of their intelligence, their social patterns, and how their behaviors are continuously adapting. 

What do you love the most about Complexity Explorer? 

I have a passion for education and breaking down access barriers for curious minds around the world. I love the no to low cost model of Complexity Explorer courses and all of the quality content. I am blown away by the community participation and dedication, and am excited to continue the mission. 

What are you reading right now?

I am reading two, very different, books right now. The first book is "Blood and Thunder” by Hampton Sides. It is a wild epic of the settlement of the American West in the 19th century, the history of New Mexico, and Kit Carson. 

The other book I am readying is Margaret Atwood’s new book "The Testaments", which is a sequel to The Handmaids Tale. I have only just started it but I am already fully immersed in the narrative. It picks up 15 years after the events of the prequel transpire, weaving a poignant and captivating story. 

Sending warm wishes,

The Complexity Explorer Team



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