Improvisation for a Catastrophe: Complexity and Resilience (APA2351.01)

Susan Sgorbati

This class will examine the principles of complex systems, improvisation and resilience. Concepts such as self-organization, emergence, pattern recognition, adaptation and non-linear structures will be introduced. Ordinarily, we think of order and form as externally imposed, composed or directed. In this class, however, we will consider new kinds of order, not because they are preconceived or designed, but because they are the products of dynamic, self-organizing systems operating in open-ended environments. This phenomenon – the creation of order from a rich array of self-organizing interactions – is found not only in artistic processes, but in a wide variety of natural settings when a range of initial conditions gives rise to collective behavior that is both different from and more than the sum of its parts. Like certain art forms, evolution, for example, is decidedly improvisational and emergent, as is the brain function that lies at the center of what it is to be human. Students will practice their own improvisational forms in whatever discipline they want to work in to prepare to live resiliently in a complex world.

Learning Outcomes:
improvisation skills
complex systems analysis
resilience assessments
pattern recognition

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 2
W 10:00AM - 11:50AM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 25
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 2000 , Advancement of Public Action , All courses , First Seven Week , Fully In-Person , Two Credit