Self-Organization: Theory and Simulations

C. Gros, summer-term 2020


A key concept in the theory of 'Complex and Adaptive Dynamical Systems' (CADS) is the notion of self-organization, namely that relatively simple basic evolution equations may give rise to complex spatio-temporal patterns and dynamical structures. For a wide palette of online simulations see complexity explorables

The course will start with an introduction to dynamical system theory and to bifurcation and catastrophe theory. Further topics will include the Turing instability and pattern formation in diffusion-reaction systems, swarm intelligence, opinion dynamics, car following models and Darwinian evolution (error-catastrophe, quasi-species, hyper-cycles).

A requirement for course completion is a student simulation project, which may be performed either alone or in groups of up to three students. The subject can be either of one's own choice or selected from a list that will be provided.

Depending on the programming knowledge of the course participants a short introduction to C++ will be given. This will be decided in the first week.


This lecture course is suitable for all students enrolled in physics/neurosicences/informatics/biology courses starting from the third year. Basic knowledge of differential equations and probability theory is helpful.


problem session
Wed 9:15-11:00, Phys. __.401
Thu 9:15-11:00, Phys. __.401

Tue 10:15-12:00, Phys. 01.114
Fri 10:15-12:00, Phys. 02.114
start: Wed, April 15 2020
(modulo Corona) 

start: (tba)
the problem session and the computer lab include the possibility
for small research projects und student seminars
» Schein für ein Arbeitsgruppenseminar (BA/MA) möglich «
requirements for a certificate (als Wahlpflichtfach mit 8 CP):
  • attend problem sesssions, do exercises
  • develop and present a simulation project
  • oral exam (wenn benotet, ansonsten nicht)


If you have any question just contact
  • Oren Neumann (,; Phys 1.141
  • Fabian Schubert (,; Phys 1.141
  • Lukas Schneider (,; Phys 1.141
  • ..

Lecture Notes

Project Presentations




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