Self-Organization: Theory and Simulations

C. Gros, summer-term 2018


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 onlines 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

auxiliary dates
Tue 10:15-12:00, Phys. 01.114
Fri 10:15-12:00, Phys. 01.114

Mon 10:15-12:00, Phys. 02.116
Wed 13:15-15:00, Phys. 01.114

(if any)
start: Tue, April 10 2018

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 excerises
  • develop and present a simulation project
  • oral exam (wenn benotet, ansonsten nicht)


If you have any question just contact
  • Hendrik Wernecke (,; Phys 1.141
  • Fabian Schubert (,; Phys 1.141
  • Emanuele Varriale (,; Phys 1.141

Lecture Notes

Project Presentations




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