Complex systems in nature have inspired several new methods for information processing; artificial neural networks resemble neurobiology; genetic algorithms and genetic programming are based on evolutionary processes in nature; the construction of artificial life, the design of autonomous robots and software agents can be based on biological behaviour.
At the same time the computer may serve as a tool to improve the understanding of complex systems in biology and other areas. For biological systems like the brain, the immune system, or genes regulating each other in a cell, mathematical modelling and computer simulations are needed to understand their function and behaviour, and societal systems like economic markets or the traffic in an urban area can be studied through simulations of systems composed by a large number of adaptive agents.
The possibility to perform large-scale simulations on powerful computer systems has allowed us to increase the understanding of complex systems of interacting adaptive agents in the areas of biology, society, economics and computer science. In the program we combine new methods from computer science, like artificial neural net-works, evolutionary algorithms, and adaptive agents, with simulation techniques and theory for complex systems. Throughout the program the students carry out projects focusing on various examples of complex systems using modelling and computer simulations.
The applicants should have a Bachelor of Science (Engineering) degree or the equivalent. The students' academic background should be applicable to the programme. Swedish applicants should have successfully completed 120 credit units that form a background suitable for the programme. We have an ambition to create a multidisciplinary mix of students, however, entry requirements include basic courses in mathematics and computer science. Applicants must also show proficiency in English, e.g., by a TOEFL test (minimum 550). Due to the multidisciplinary character of the area, an individual study plan for the program will be assigned to each student, taking into account the student's background and special interests.
Courses and Master's thesis
There is a complete set of courses developed for the programme, briefly described below. The compulsory courses comprises 24 credit units. Also required are 16 credit units of elective courses. Elective courses can be choosen from other Master's programmes at Chalmers or the present programme for Engineering Physics (valfria kurser Teknisk fysik).
The courses (Quarters 1 to 4 during first year):
Artificial Neural Networks (5 credits)
Evolutionary Computation (5 credits)
Simulation of Complex Systems (5 credits)
Computational Biology A (5 credits)
Information Theory (3 credits)
Stochastic processes in physics, chemistry and biology (5 credits)
Dynamical Systems (3 credits)
Autonomous Agents (5 credits)
Computational Biology B (5 credits)
Complex Systems Seminar (4 credits)
Humanoid Robots (3 credits)
Master's thesis (Quarters 1 and 2, second year)
During a 4-5 months period the second year, the students write their Master's theses, to be presented in a report as well as orally.