12.086 / 12.586 Modeling Environmental Complexity, Fall 2011
Modeling Environmental Complexity
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This course provides an introduction to the study of environmental phenomena that exhibit both organized structure and wide variability — i.e., complexity. Through focused study of a variety of physical, biological, and chemical problems in conjunction with theoretical models, we learn a series of lessons with wide applicability to understanding the structure and organization of the natural world. Students will also learn how to construct minimal mathematical, physical, and computational models that provide informative answers to precise questions.
river networks, drainage basins, percolation theory, fractals, universality, ecological dynamics, metabolic scaling, food webs, biogeochemical cycles