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Emergent Phenomena in Science and Everyday Life, 加州大学尔湾分校

88 个评分
28 个审阅


Before the advent of quantum mechanics in the early 20th century, most scientists believed that it should be possible to predict the behavior of any object in the universe simply by understanding the behavior of its constituent parts. For instance, if one could write down the equations of motion for every atom in a system, it should be possible to solve those equations (with the aid of a sufficiently large computing device) and make accurate predictions about that system’s future. However, there are some systems that defy this notion. Consider a living cell, which consists mostly of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen along with other trace elements. We can study these components individually without ever imagining how combining them in just the right way can lead to something as complex and wonderful as a living organism! Thus, we can consider life to be an emergent property of what is essentially an accumulation of constituent parts that are somehow organized in a very precise way. This course lets you explore the concept of emergence using examples from materials science, mathematics, biology, physics, and neuroscience to illustrate how ordinary components when brought together can collectively yield unexpected, surprising behaviors. Note: The fractal image (Sierpinkski Triangle) depicted on the course home page was generated by a software application called XaoS 3.4, which is distributed by the Free Software Foundation under a GNU General Public License. Upon completing this course, you will be able to: 1. Explain the difference in assumptions between an emergent versus reductive approach to science. 2. Explain why the reductivist approach is understood by many to be inadequate as a means of describing and predicting complex systems. 3. Describe how the length scale used to examine a phenomenon can contribute to how you analyze and understand it. 4. Explain why the search for general principles that explain emergent phenomena make them an active locus of scientific investigation. 5. Discuss examples of emergent phenomena and explain why they are classified as emergent....


创建者 RV

May 08, 2017

i enjoyed all the different modules. I recommend they add more explanation to the chaos game assignment.

创建者 ST

Jul 02, 2017

It's a good course to get acquainted with first hand information about studies in emergent phenomena


27 个审阅

创建者 Roger Parker

Feb 12, 2019

I was disappointed with this course. It was unclear to whom it was intended because in parts it assumed a very limited knowledge of science yet quite a detailed understanding of mathematics, including Newton's method for finding roots, and Fourier series. In most of the sections I was left wanting to learn more. For example, in the module on consciousness, the key issue of how consciousness emerges from the coordinated activity of neurons wasn't touched on, yet there are several theories on how this might come about - I would have loved to have heard about these theories. Overall, I felt each of the modules was too short and too shallow. Perhaps if they were doubled in length then this might address the shortcomings that I experienced.

I also wasn't enamoured with the idea of peer-graded assignments, so I didn't attempt those. But what would have been useful would have been a discussion forum which is a feature of most Coursera courses.

创建者 Chi Long Lai

Feb 06, 2019

A very good course in introducing advanced concepts in a simple way and have performed the spirit of multidisciplinary research very well.

创建者 Jean-Philippe Corbeil

Jan 08, 2019

too simple

创建者 John Hamilton

Jan 05, 2019

Very good none technical introduction to emergent phenomena.

创建者 Miguel Martínez García

Nov 24, 2018

The course is too basic and does not provide much insights. It is also a pity that there is not a forum to discuss with the other students. Overall the course seems managed in a very lazy manner as compared to other coursera courses.

创建者 jadoul michel

Nov 02, 2018

Reductionism versus emergence: merely a short-sighted and fashionable point of view. Nothing to learn here and no way to check that you learned anything.

创建者 Brent Van Minnen

Sep 13, 2018

I'm currently on the second module.

The first module, taught by Michael Dennin was great and got me really excited about this course.

The second module, taught by Donald Saari, is really bad. He takes a subject I find very interesting (Chaos), and makes it boring, prattling on in a very disorganized manner while mostly staring at his toes.

I hoping that subsequent modules are more like Michael Dennin's, which was very well done.

创建者 Thiago Souza da Silva

Jun 07, 2018

Excellent entry-level course on the subject.

创建者 Joy Smith

Feb 21, 2018

Has new things I never thought about before. Really interesting.

创建者 José Carlos Estrada

Jan 09, 2018

An excellent explanation of a daily growing matter of science and research. I encourage everyone interested in a groundbreaking view of science, to take this course.