Complexity Explorer Santa Few Institute


What is Complexity Explorer?

Complexity Explorer is a web-based platform for courses and other educational resources related to complexity science. The website is sponsored by the Santa Fe Institute.

Who is this website intended for?

The website is for anyone who is interested in learning about, or teaching about, complexity science. The interdisciplinary educational materials and courses offered through this website will range from beginner to expert levels, and will provide curricula for instructors to use, ranging from high school through graduate school levels.

In what ways am I allowed to use Complexity Explorer materials?

All the materials on this site are available for your use for any non-commercial purpose. All materials (videos, code, write-ups, etc.) are covered by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License ( ). This states that you may copy, distribute, and transmit the work under the condition that you give attribution to, and your use is for non-commercial purposes.

Is there any cost?

All Complexity Explorer instructional videos are freely available to anyone via our YouTube channel. Some courses may request a tuition donation in order to access special course content, such as problem sets and exams, and to earn a certificate. See more about tuition donation here. All tuition-based courses offer scholarships for participants who can justify their need.


Do I need to register?

You will be able to access most of the materials without registering for an account. You will need to register for an account in order to enroll in online courses and tutorials, to participate in forums on the site, and to receive email updates about the site and about online courses offered through the site. Registration is easy and free, and we do not share Complexity Explorer participants' information with any parties.


What is the difference between a course and a tutorial?

Courses offer the chance to delve deeply into a particular topic and culminate in a certificate of completion for participants who earn passing marks. Courses are accompanied by un-graded quizzes for self-assessment as well as graded exams at the end of each module. TAs are available to answer questions or provide clarifications.

Tutorials offer a focused overview of particular techniques or tools and examples of how they can be applied to complex systems.

Lectures offer an introduction to particular applications or concepts of complex systems science. They are short and aimed at a non-expert audience.

Most courses, tutorials and lectures are available asynchronously on demand and can be completed at your own pace.

Only courses will result in a certificate upon completion. 

How do I know which courses are free and which are paid?

Courses with a padlock on the icon are paid courses.  If there is no padlock visible on the icon then the course is free. Paid courses require a minimum tuition payment to progress past the first unit.  Once the course session is complete, the course materials will be free to use under the Archived Courses section.  Learn more about tuition payments and scholarships here

How can I add my certificates to LinkedIn or share them on social media?

Certificates are available as a pdf download and also as a unique, public URL you can link to.  When you click on your certificates you will be taken to that public page.  Copy the URL and share it anywhere you like.   

If you want to post your certificates to LinkedIn, follow these instructions. Navigate to your certificate. If the course session is closed, go to your account by clicking your name at the top right of the Complexity Explorer page.  Go to My Enrollments and then click on the Show 'N' Enrollments in Past Courses text in grey. From there you can click on your past certificates.  Copy the URL of the certificate, and then click on the Add Certificate to LinkedIn button. Fill in the form by putting in the name of the course, the Santa Fe Institute, leave license blank, add the month and year you completed the course, and then add the public URL. 



What is the Santa Fe Institute?

The Santa Fe Institute is a private, not-for-profit, independent research and education center, founded in 1984, devoted to the interdisciplinary study of complexity science.

How can I follow SFI research?

You can follow SFI on FacebookLinkedIn, or Twitter for the latest research news and big ideas from SFI. SFI also publishes  the quarterly Parallax newsletter, which highlights our scientific activities and results. 


How can I contribute to this project?

There are several ways to contribute: by helping to subtitle our videos in your native language, by giving us your feedback, by making a donation to help support this project, and by leaving reviews on our course listings on Class Central.  For detailed information, go to our Support page. 


What if I still have questions?

Please send any questions about this site to

What is Complexity Explorer's Privacy Policy?

Please refer to our privacy policy page

What are Complexity Explorer's Terms of Use? 

Please refer to our terms of use page.