Principles of Systems Science

Author: George E Mobus,Michael C. Kalton

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1493919202

Category: Science

Page: 755

View: 6524

This pioneering text provides a comprehensive introduction to systems structure, function, and modeling as applied in all fields of science and engineering. Systems understanding is increasingly recognized as a key to a more holistic education and greater problem solving skills, and is also reflected in the trend toward interdisciplinary approaches to research on complex phenomena. While the concepts and components of systems science will continue to be distributed throughout the various disciplines, undergraduate degree programs in systems science are also being developed, including at the authors’ own institutions. However, the subject is approached, systems science as a basis for understanding the components and drivers of phenomena at all scales should be viewed with the same importance as a traditional liberal arts education. Principles of Systems Science contains many graphs, illustrations, side bars, examples, and problems to enhance understanding. From basic principles of organization, complexity, abstract representations, and behavior (dynamics) to deeper aspects such as the relations between information, knowledge, computation, and system control, to higher order aspects such as auto-organization, emergence and evolution, the book provides an integrated perspective on the comprehensive nature of systems. It ends with practical aspects such as systems analysis, computer modeling, and systems engineering that demonstrate how the knowledge of systems can be used to solve problems in the real world. Each chapter is broken into parts beginning with qualitative descriptions that stand alone for students who have taken intermediate algebra. The second part presents quantitative descriptions that are based on pre-calculus and advanced algebra, providing a more formal treatment for students who have the necessary mathematical background. Numerous examples of systems from every realm of life, including the physical and biological sciences, humanities, social sciences, engineering, pre-med and pre-law, are based on the fundamental systems concepts of boundaries, components as subsystems, processes as flows of materials, energy, and messages, work accomplished, functions performed, hierarchical structures, and more. Understanding these basics enables further understanding both of how systems endure and how they may become increasingly complex and exhibit new properties or characteristics. Serves as a textbook for teaching systems fundamentals in any discipline or for use in an introductory course in systems science degree programs Addresses a wide range of audiences with different levels of mathematical sophistication Includes open-ended questions in special boxes intended to stimulate integrated thinking and class discussion Describes numerous examples of systems in science and society Captures the trend towards interdisciplinary research and problem solving

Open Systems Science

From Understanding Principles to Solving Problems

Author: Mario Tokoro

Publisher: IOS Press

ISBN: 1607504685

Category: Science

Page: 262

View: 9675

Open systems science is the methodology employed to manage and solve the problems in systems whose operation involves interaction with the outside world, as opposed to being closed and complete within themselves. This new methodology was first announced at the 20th anniversary symposium of Sony CSL in 2008. Falling outside the direct scope of traditional science, an open system usually consists of multiple subsystems with varying numbers, relations and functions. Throughout the last decades, computer scientists, addressing the problems presented by globalization and the massive expansion in the application of new technologies, began to realize that open systems science could provide some of the solutions they were seeking with regard to complex and dependable systems. Starting with a chapter explaining the basic concept of open systems science, this book goes on to present the work of contributors from a variety of different disciplines, who explain how open systems science can be applied to their field. Including topics such as; biological robustness, the application of open systems methods to develop new drugs, the study of language and meaning, the interdisciplinary field of visual computing and user interfaces as the merger between the real and virtual world, this book explores the directions of science and technology in the 21st century and will be of interest to all those involved in the development and operation of complex interactive systems. IOS Press is an international science, technical and medical publisher of high-quality books for academics, scientists, and professionals in all fields. Some of the areas we publish in: -Biomedicine -Oncology -Artificial intelligence -Databases and information systems -Maritime engineering -Nanotechnology -Geoengineering -All aspects of physics -E-governance -E-commerce -The knowledge economy -Urban studies -Arms control -Understanding and responding to terrorism -Medical informatics -Computer Sciences

Complexity and Postmodernism

Understanding Complex Systems

Author: Paul Cilliers

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134743300

Category: Philosophy

Page: 176

View: 7728

In Complexity and Postmodernism, Paul Cilliers explores the idea of complexity in the light of contemporary perspectives from philosophy and science. Cilliers offers us a unique approach to understanding complexity and computational theory by integrating postmodern theory (like that of Derrida and Lyotard) into his discussion. Complexity and Postmodernism is an exciting and an original book that should be read by anyone interested in gaining a fresh understanding of complexity, postmodernism and connectionism.

Complex Systems Science in Biomedicine

Author: Thomas Deisboeck,J. Yasha Kresh

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9780387335322

Category: Medical

Page: 864

View: 3647

Complex Systems Science in Biomedicine Thomas S. Deisboeck and J. Yasha Kresh Complex Systems Science in Biomedicine covers the emerging field of systems science involving the application of physics, mathematics, engineering and computational methods and techniques to the study of biomedicine including nonlinear dynamics at the molecular, cellular, multi-cellular tissue, and organismic level. With all chapters helmed by leading scientists in the field, Complex Systems Science in Biomedicine's goal is to offer its audience a timely compendium of the ongoing research directed to the understanding of biological processes as whole systems instead of as isolated component parts. In Parts I & II, Complex Systems Science in Biomedicine provides a general systems thinking perspective and presents some of the fundamental theoretical underpinnings of this rapidly emerging field. Part III then follows with a multi-scaled approach, spanning from the molecular to macroscopic level, exemplified by studying such diverse areas as molecular networks and developmental processes, the immune and nervous systems, the heart, cancer and multi-organ failure. The volume concludes with Part IV that addresses methods and techniques driven in design and development by this new understanding of biomedical science. Key Topics Include: • Historic Perspectives of General Systems Thinking • Fundamental Methods and Techniques for Studying Complex Dynamical Systems • Applications from Molecular Networks to Disease Processes • Enabling Technologies for Exploration of Systems in the Life Sciences Complex Systems Science in Biomedicine is essential reading for experimental, theoretical, and interdisciplinary scientists working in the biomedical research field interested in a comprehensive overview of this rapidly emerging field. About the Editors: Thomas S. Deisboeck is currently Assistant Professor of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. An expert in interdisciplinary cancer modeling, Dr. Deisboeck is Director of the Complex Biosystems Modeling Laboratory which is part of the Harvard-MIT Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. J. Yasha Kresh is currently Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Research Director, Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Biophysics at the Drexel University College of Medicine. An expert in dynamical systems, he holds appointments in the School of Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Molecular Pathobiology Program. Prof. Kresh is Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, Biomedical Engineering Society, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Philosophy of Complex Systems

Author: N.A

Publisher: Elsevier

ISBN: 9780080931227

Category: Philosophy

Page: 952

View: 3896

The domain of nonlinear dynamical systems and its mathematical underpinnings has been developing exponentially for a century, the last 35 years seeing an outpouring of new ideas and applications and a concomitant confluence with ideas of complex systems and their applications from irreversible thermodynamics. A few examples are in meteorology, ecological dynamics, and social and economic dynamics. These new ideas have profound implications for our understanding and practice in domains involving complexity, predictability and determinism, equilibrium, control, planning, individuality, responsibility and so on. Our intention is to draw together in this volume, we believe for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the manifold philosophically interesting impacts of recent developments in understanding nonlinear systems and the unique aspects of their complexity. The book will focus specifically on the philosophical concepts, principles, judgments and problems distinctly raised by work in the domain of complex nonlinear dynamical systems, especially in recent years. -Comprehensive coverage of all main theories in the philosophy of Complex Systems -Clearly written expositions of fundamental ideas and concepts -Definitive discussions by leading researchers in the field -Summaries of leading-edge research in related fields are also included

Unifying Themes in Complex Systems

Volume IIIB: New Research

Author: Ali A. Minai,Yaneer Bar-Yam

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3540358641

Category: Science

Page: 375

View: 1713

In recent years, scientists have applied the principles of complex systems science to increasingly diverse fields. The results have been nothing short of remarkable. The Third International Conference on Complex Systems attracted over 400 researchers from around the world. The conference aimed to encourage cross-fertilization between the many disciplines represented and to deepen our understanding of the properties common to all complex systems.

Simulation-Based Engineering of Complex Systems

Author: John R. Clymer

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 047040129X

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 503

View: 7491

A hands-on approach to understanding, designing, analyzing, and evaluating complex systems During the last few years, Simulation-Based Systems Engineering (SBSE) has become an essential tool for the design and evaluation of complex systems. This is the first book to cover the basic principles of complex systems through the use of hands-on experimentation using an icon-based simulation tool. Utilizing the accompanying software tool ExtendSim, which works with the OpEMCSS library, readers are invited to engage in simulation-based experiments that demonstrate the principles of complex systems with an emphasis on design, analysis, and evaluation. A number of real-world examples are included to demonstrate how to model complex systems across a range of engineering, business, societal, economic, and scientific disciplines. Beginning with an introduction to SBSE, the book covers: Simulation concepts and building blocks Systems design and model development Markov model development Reliability processes Queuing theory in SBSE Rule-based learning and adaptation Agent motion and spatial interactions Multi-agent system of systems Assuming only a very basic background in problem-solving ability, this book is ideal as a textbook for students (a homework solution manual is also available) and as a reference book for practitioners in industry.

Smart Energy in the Smart City

Urban Planning for a Sustainable Future

Author: Rocco Papa,Romano Fistola

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319311573

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 342

View: 9984

This book examines the energy dimension of the smart city from the perspective of urban planning, providing a complete overview that ranges from theoretical aspects to practical considerations and projects. In addition, it aims to illustrate how the concept of the smart city can enhance understanding of the urban system and foster new forms of management of the metropolis, including with respect to energy supply and use. Specifically, the book explores the different dimensions of the relationship between energy and the city, discusses methodological issues with a special focus on ontological approaches to sustainability, and describes practices, tools, and good examples of energy-related urban planning. The authors represent the main Italian research groups working in the field, Italy being an excellent example of a country exposed to energy problems due to, for example, vulnerability to climate change and lack of primary energy resources. This book will be valuable for students of urban planning, town planners, and researchers interested in understanding the changing nature of the city and the challenges posed by energy issues.

Systems Science

Methodological Approaches

Author: Yi Lin,Xiaojun Duan,Chengli Zhao,Li Da Xu

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1439895511

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 399

View: 4116

By making use of the principles of systems science, the scientific community can explain many complicated matters of the world and shed new light on unsettled problems. Each real science has its own particular methodology for not only qualitative but also quantitative analyses, so it is important to understand the organic whole of systems research with operable mathematical methods. Systems Science: Methodological Approaches presents a mathematical explanation of systems science, giving readers a complete technical formulation of different systemic laws. It enables them to use a unified methodology to attack different problems that are hard, if not impossible, for modern science to handle. Following a brief history of systems science, the book explores: Basic concepts, characteristics, properties, and classifications of general systems Nonlinear systems dynamics and the theory of catastrophe Dissipative structures and synergistics Studies of chaos, including logistic mapping, phase space reconstruction, Lyapunov exponents, and chaos of general single relation systems Different aspects and concepts of fractals, including a presentation of L systems analysis and design Complex systems and complexity, with a discussion of how the phenomena of "three" and complexity are related, and how various cellular automata can be constructed to generate useful simulations and figurative patterns Complex adaptive systems and open complex giant systems, with introduction of the yoyo model and practical applications Complex networks and related concepts and methods The book concludes with several case studies that demonstrate how various concepts and the logic of systems can be practically applied to resolve real-life problems, such as the prediction of natural disasters. The book will be useful in directing future research and applications of systems science on a commonly accepted platform and playground.

Case Studies in System of Systems, Enterprise Systems, and Complex Systems Engineering

Author: Alex Gorod,Brian E. White,Vernon Ireland,S. Jimmy Gandhi,Brian Sauser

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1466502401

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 808

View: 3634

Suitable as a reference for industry practitioners and as a textbook for classroom use, Case Studies in System of Systems, Enterprise Systems, and Complex Systems Engineering provides a clear understanding of the principles and practice of system of systems engineering (SoSE), enterprise systems engineering (ESE), and complex systems engineering (CSE). Multiple domain practitioners present and analyze case studies from a range of applications that demonstrate underlying principles and best practices of transdisciplinary systems engineering. A number of the case studies focus on addressing real human needs. Diverse approaches such as use of soft systems skills are illustrated, and other helpful techniques are also provided. The case studies describe, examine, analyze, and assess applications across a range of domains, including: Engineering management and systems engineering education Information technology business transformation and infrastructure engineering Cooperative framework for and cost management in the construction industry Supply chain modeling and decision analysis in distribution centers and logistics International development assistance in a foreign culture of education Value analysis in generating electrical energy through wind power Systemic risk and reliability assessment in banking Assessing emergencies and reducing errors in hospitals and health care systems Information fusion and operational resilience in disaster response systems Strategy and investment for capability developments in defense acquisition Layered, flexible, and decentralized enterprise architectures in military systems Enterprise transformation of the air traffic management and transport network Supplying you with a better understanding of SoSE, ESE, and CSE concepts and principles, the book highlights best practices and lessons learned as benchmarks that are applicable to other cases. If adopted correctly, the approaches outlined can facilitate significant progress in human affairs. The study of complex systems is still in its infancy, and it is likely to evolve for decades to come. While this book does not provide all the answers, it does establish a platform, through which analysis and knowledge application can take place and conclusions can be made in order to educate the next generation of systems engineers.

Strategy for Managing Complex Systems

A Contribution to Management Cybernetics for Evolutionary Systems

Author: Fredmund Malik

Publisher: Campus Verlag

ISBN: 3593505398

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 564

View: 6931

"Malik demonstrates that management and management theory have strong foundations in systems science, and most specifically in a certain type of cybernetics of truly complex systems, of organismic, self-organizing, and evolving systems. This book provides the basics on how to create robust, functional, and sustainably viable systems. One of the reasons why it has become a classic on management cybernetics, now in its 11th edition, is that the strategies and heuristic principles of complexity management are still relevant - now more than ever."--Back cover.

Untangling Complex Systems

A Grand Challenge for Science

Author: Pier Luigi Gentili

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 0429847548

Category: Mathematics

Page: 568

View: 914

Complex Systems are natural systems that science is unable to describe exhaustively. Examples of Complex Systems are both unicellular and multicellular living beings; human brains; human immune systems; ecosystems; human societies; the global economy; the climate and geology of our planet. This book is an account of a marvelous interdisciplinary journey the author made to understand properties of the Complex Systems. He has undertaken his trip, equipped with the fundamental principles of physical chemistry, in particular, the Second Law of Thermodynamics that describes the spontaneous evolution of our universe, and the tools of Non-linear dynamics. By dealing with many disciplines, in particular, chemistry, biology, physics, economy, and philosophy, the author demonstrates that Complex Systems are intertwined networks, working in out-of-equilibrium conditions, which exhibit emergent properties, such as self-organization phenomena and chaotic behaviors in time and space.

Systems Science and Population Health

Author: Abdulrahman M. El-Sayed,Sandro Galea,Dean and Robert a Knox Professor Sandro Galea, MD MPH Dph

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190492392

Category:

Page: 240

View: 8886

Population health is complex and multileveled, encompassing dynamic interactions between cells, societies, and everything in between. Our typical approach to studying population health, however, remains oriented around a reductionist approach to conceptualizing, empirically analyzing, and intervening to improve population health. The trouble is that interventions founded on simplifying a complex world often do not work, sometimes yielding failure or, even worse, harm. The difficult truth is that "silver bullet" health science often fails, and understanding these failures can help us improve our approach to health science, and, ultimately, population health. SYSTEMS SCIENCE AND POPULATION HEALTH employs principles from across a range of sciences to refine the way we understand population health. By augmenting traditional analytic approaches with new tools like machine learning, microsimulation, and social network analysis, population health can be studied as a dynamic and complex system. This allows us to understand population health as a complex whole, offering new insights and perspectives that stand to improve the health of the public. This text offers the first educational and practical guide to this forward-thinking approach. Comprising 17 chapters from the vanguard of population health, epidemiology, computer science, and medicine, this book offers a three-part introduction to the subject: . An intellectual and conceptual history of systems science as it intersects with population health . Concise, introductory overviews of important and emerging methodological tools in systems science, including systems dynamics, agent-based modeling, microsimulation, social network analysis, and machine-learning-all with relevant examples drawn from population health literature . An exploration of future implications for systems science and its applications to our understanding of population health issues For researchers, students, and practitioners, SYSTEMS SCIENCE AND POPULATION HEALTH redefines many of the foundational elements of how we understand population health. It should not be missed. "

Modularity

Understanding the Development and Evolution of Natural Complex Systems

Author: Werner Callebaut,Diego Rasskin-Gutman

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262033268

Category: Science

Page: 455

View: 2047

Experts from diverse fields, including artificial life, cognitive science, economics, developmental and evolutionary biology, and the arts, discuss modularity.

Understanding Leadership in Complex Systems

A Praxeological Perspective

Author: Terje Andreas Tonsberg,Jeffrey Shawn Henderson

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319404458

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 245

View: 4079

This work proposes that Carl Menger’s Subjective Theory of Value (STV), and its subsequent elaboration by Ludwig von Mises as Praxeology, provides a useful alternative to more common methods in the study of action and social phenomena, and more specifically, to leadership in complex social systems. Rather than being based on rationality assumptions and algorithmic predictability, the STV emphasizes transient subjectivity shaped by a complex world of lacking information, mistakes, disequilibrium, uncertainty and attempted error correction that defy mathematization and exact prediction. As such, it is a framework to make sense of human action systems in terms of subjective understanding, learning, and uncertainty, rather than quantitative predictability. Accordingly, the aim of this work is to explain the STV as a general theory of action and to demonstrate its capability in developing adequate qualitative theory and to elaborate on some of the major topics that its implications raise with regard to leadership. The power of the method can be seen in that its procedure naturally branches out to facilitate an understanding of a broad selection of processes and may provide the basis for a universal theory of leadership.

Understanding Complex Ecosystem Dynamics

A Systems and Engineering Perspective

Author: William S. Yackinous

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 0128020636

Category: Science

Page: 436

View: 9415

Understanding Complex Ecosystem Dynamics: A Systems and Engineering Perspective takes a fresh, interdisciplinary perspective on complex system dynamics, beginning with a discussion of relevant systems and engineering skills and practices, including an explanation of the systems approach and its major elements. From this perspective, the author formulates an ecosystem dynamics functionality-based framework to guide ecological investigations. Next, because complex system theory (across many subject matter areas) is crucial to the work of this book, relevant network theory, nonlinear dynamics theory, cellular automata theory, and roughness (fractal) theory is covered in some detail. This material serves as an important resource as the book proceeds. In the context of all of the foregoing discussion and investigation, a view of the characteristics of ecological network dynamics is constructed. This view, in turn, is the basis for the central hypothesis of the book, i.e., ecological networks are ever-changing networks with propagation dynamics that are punctuated, local-to-global, and perhaps most importantly fractal. To analyze and fully test this hypothesis, an innovative ecological network dynamics model is defined, designed, and developed. The modeling approach, which seeks to emulate features of real-world ecological networks, does not make a priori assumptions about ecological network dynamics, but rather lets the dynamics develop as the model simulation runs. Model analysis results corroborate the central hypothesis. Additional important insights and principles are suggested by the model analysis results and by the other supporting investigations of this book – and can serve as a basis for going-forward complex system dynamics research, not only for ecological systems but for complex systems in general. Provides a fresh interdisciplinary perspective, offers a broad integrated development, and contains many new ideas Clearly explains the elements of the systems approach and applies them throughout the book Takes on the challenging and open issues of complex system network dynamics Develops and utilizes a new, innovative ecosystem dynamics modeling approach Contains over 135 graphic illustrations to help the reader visualize and understand important concepts

Complex Systems Design & Management

Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Complex Systems Design & Management CSDM 2011

Author: Omar Hammami,Daniel Krob,Jean-Luc Voirin

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3642252036

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 360

View: 8684

This book contains all refereed papers that were accepted to the second edition of the « Complex Systems Design & Management » (CSDM 2011) international conference that took place in Paris (France) from December 7 to December 9, 2011. (Website: http://www.csdm2011.csdm.fr/). These proceedings cover the most recent trends in the emerging field of complex systems sciences & practices from an industrial and academic perspective, including the main industrial domains (transport, defense & security, electronics, energy & environment, e-services), scientific & technical topics (systems fundamentals, systems architecture& engineering, systems metrics & quality, systemic tools) and system types (transportation systems, embedded systems, software & information systems, systems of systems, artificial ecosystems). The CSDM 2011 conference is organized under the guidance of the CESAMES non-profit organization (http://www.cesames.net/).

Understanding Complexity

Author: Gillian Ragsdell,Jennifer Wilby

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1461513138

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 292

View: 6983

Peter A. Coming Palo Alto, CA November, 2000 This volwne represents a distillation of the plenary sessions at a unique millenniwn year event -a World Congress of the Systems Sciences in conjunction with the 44th annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS). The overall theme of the conference was "Understanding Complexity in the New Millenniwn. " Held at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, Canada, from July 16-22,2000, the conference included some 350 participants from over 30 countries, many of whom were representatives of the 21 organizations and groups that co-hosted this landmark event. Each of these co-host organizations/groups also presented a segment of the program, including a plenary speech. In addition, the conference featured a nwnber of distinguished "keynote" speeches related to the three daily World Congress themes: (1) The Evolution of Complex Systems, (2) The Dynamics of Complex Systems, and (3) Human Systems in the 21st Century. There were also seven special plenary-level symposia on a range of timely topics, including: "The Art and Science of Forecasting in the Age of Global Wanning"; "Capitalism in the New Millenniwn: The Challenge of Sustainability"; "The Future of the Systems Sciences"; "Global Issues in the New Millenniwn"; "Resources and the Environment in the New Millenniwn"; "The Lessons of Y2K"; and "Can There be a Reconciliation Between Science and Religion?" Included in this special commemorative volume is a cross-section of these presentations.

Modeling and Managing Interdependent Complex Systems of Systems

Author: Yacov Y. Haimes

Publisher: Wiley-IEEE Press

ISBN: 1119173655

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 816

View: 2061

A comprehensive guide to the theory, methodology, and development for modeling systems of systems Modeling and Managing Interdependent Complex Systems of Systems examines the complexity of, and the risk to, emergent interconnected and interdependent complex systems of systems in the natural and the constructed environment, and in its critical infrastructures. For systems modelers, this book focuses on what constitutes complexity and how to understand, model and manage it.Previous modeling methods for complex systems of systems were aimed at developing theory and methodologies for uncoupling the interdependencies and interconnections that characterize them. In this book, the author extends the above by utilizing public- and private- sector case studies; identifies, explores, and exploits the core of interdependencies; and seeks to understand their essence via the states of the system, and their dominant contributions to the complexity of systems of systems. The book proposes a reevaluation of fundamental and practical systems engineering and risk analysis concepts on complex systems of systems developed over the past 40 years. This important resource: Updates and streamlines systems engineering theory, methodology, and practice as applied to complex systems of systems Introduces modeling methodology inspired by philosophical and conceptual thinking from the arts and sciences Models the complexity of emergent interdependent and interconnected complex systems of systems by analyzing their shared states, decisions, resources, and decisionmakers Written for systems engineers, industrial engineers, managers, planners, academics and other professionals in engineering systems and the environment,this text is the resource for understanding the fundamental principles of modeling and managing complex systems of systems, and the risk thereto.

Facets of Systems Science

Author: George J. Klir

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1461513316

Category: Science

Page: 740

View: 8535

This book has a rather strange history. It began in spring 1989, thirteen years after our Systems Science Department at SUNY-Binghamton was established, when I was asked by a group of students in our doctoral program to have a meeting with them. The spokesman of the group, Cliff Joslyn, opened our meeting by stating its purpose. I can closely paraphrase what he said: "We called this meeting to discuss with you, as Chairman of the Department, a fundamental problem with our systems science curriculum. In general, we consider it a good curriculum: we learn a lot of concepts, principles, and methodological tools, mathematical, computational, heu ristic, which are fundamental to understanding and dealing with systems. And, yet, we learn virtually nothing about systems science itself. What is systems science? What are its historical roots? What are its aims? Where does it stand and where is it likely to go? These are pressing questions to us. After all, aren't we supposed to carry the systems science flag after we graduate from this program? We feel that a broad introductory course to systems science is urgently needed in the curriculum. Do you agree with this assessment?" The answer was obvious and, yet, not easy to give: "I agree, of course, but I do not see how the situation could be alleviated in the foreseeable future.