Programs

 

Solving today’s most complex societal problems presents a challenge that requires more than a range of expertise and advanced knowledge in different domains. It also requires integration of our breakthrough technologies, cutting-edge analytics and progressive research, with an understanding of human interaction, policy implications, and governance. Such problem-solving calls for a new generation of leaders with a holistic perspective that can see the hidden interconnections between different elements of a system, and appreciate the unique role of humans operating and interacting within these systems.

We live in a time in which our ability to create complex systems has far exceeded the capability to understand and manage them. Purdue Systems Collaboratory was launched with the support from the deans of different colleges and our educational program is a part of the response to the need for a holistic systems’ understanding across the university. Purdue graduates have continuously made technological breakthroughs, developed innovative products, created timeless designs, and discovered better ways to feed the world. It is time to pioneer the education of scientists, economists, engineers, designers, and humanitarians who are also systems thinkers; future leaders who can see the interdependency of different elements of a system and focus on role of humans. Such an impactful change from the inside for a university of Purdue size will result in a positive change within our society and eventually of our nation and the world.

SYS Courses

PSC’s educational offerings currently include 6 SYS courses that enable students to gain a systems perspective, work with systems tools and study methodologies and approaches, and learn about systems failure and how they can put their “systems” knowledge into practice.

Course Theme Number Name Level
Fundamentals of systems SYS 30000 It’s a Complex World – Addressing Global Challenges Undergraduate (UCC-STS)
SYS 50000 Perspectives on Systems Graduate
Theories and Methodologies SYS 35000 Systems Theories and Approaches Undergraduate (UCC-STS)
SYS 51000 Tools and Methodologies for Designing Systems Graduate
Applied Systems Thinking SYS 40000 Science and Technology Policy Undergraduate
SYS 53000 Practical Systems Thinking Graduate

 

Systems Fellows

The Systems Fellows Program is meant to support graduate students who want to participate in the convergence of knowledge and expertise from diverse disciplines to identify and address a complex system problem. This approach requires that faculty and students explore research questions at the intersection of their respective fields, conduct joint research projects and develop methodologies that can be used to re-integrate knowledge in pursuit of a new science of systems. Examples include (but by no means are limited to): research projects in developing a technology that also investigate the effects, reception and implications of the technology on humans, society and social interactions. Or, studying the advancement of secure communication and investigating the policy implications.

Purdue Systems Collaboratory invites faculty from all Purdue colleges to work with colleagues from other Purdue colleges and nominate their outstanding PhD students for the Systems Fellows Program.

 

Student eligibility and responsibilities

  • The student’s research must be related to addressing a systems problem or advancing systems science
  • The primary home of the student is in his or her home college, and is co-supervised by a faculty from another college
  • The student nominee must have completed at least one year of his/her PhD program
  • Assistantship recipients are required to submit an annual report to the PSC’s Research Committee outlining their progress and showcasing the relevance of their research to systems thinking/science
  • Systems Fellows will be required to contribute to PSC’s activities (for example, assisting with PSC’s seminars and courses, mentoring, course coordination)

 

Fellowship support

  • The Purdue Systems Collaboratory provides 50% of the student stipend and tuition, per year, renewable for up to three years, contingent upon satisfactory academic and scholarly progress and work performance.
  • The remaining 50% of the student support is provided by equal contributions of the faculty co-advisors or their departments.*

 

The applications for nominated Purdue Systems Fellows will be evaluated by the PSC’s Research Committee. Please email the following items by April 23rd to Boshra Afra (afra@purdue.edu) with the subject of “PSC Systems Fellows”:

  • Completed application form (either the student or the advisors can submit)
  • A research project summary of no more than two pages describing the nature of the student’s research topic, highlighting its “systems perspective”
  • A short “management plan” outlining the role of each advisor, how the background and expertise of each advisor support the research topic, and a proposed schedule for interaction of the team.
  • Short NSF-style CVs of the two faculty members, CV and academic transcript of the nominated student

* The PSC Systems Fellows Program can be used in conjunction with other fellowships/assistantships, for more information, please reach out to Boshra Afra (afra@purdue.edu)

Systems Certificate

Purdue Systems Collaboratory is offering two certificates from Fall 2018

  • Certificate in Systems for undergraduate students
  • Graduate Certificate in Systems suited for graduate students and continuing education professionals (distance)

The programs are designed for undergraduate and graduate students and professionals with background in a variety of disciplines. The certificates are a response to the need for a new generation of leaders with holistic perspective, who can address the most challenging and complex problems of today’s societies. Purdue graduates have continuously made technological breakthroughs, developed innovative products, created timeless designs, and discovered better ways to feed the world. It is time to pioneer the education of scientists, economists, engineers, designers, and humanitarians who are also systems thinkers; future leaders who can see the hidden interconnections between different elements of a system and turn the spotlight on the role of humans in these systems. These systems range from large scale power grids and political/social systems to small-scale devices, such as motors for unclogging blood vessels and 3-D nano structures.

 

Certificate in Systems (undergraduate level)

The study plan for the certificate includes three SYS courses (9 credit hours) that introduce fundamental of systems thinking and enable students to gain a systems perspective, learn tools and methodologies that can be applied in a variety of complex problems, and discuss emerging grand challenges at all levels. Analysis of real life scenarios and today’s complex problems are not only covered in the core SYS courses, the certificate selective list includes courses from different colleges that explore major recent systems successes and failures. Students need to take 6 credit hours from the selective courses to fulfill the requirement of the certificate. Several of selective courses as well as two of the required SYS courses are also a part of the Undergraduate Core Curriculum.  For the list of approved selective courses, click here. Please note that some selective courses are less than 3 credit hours; therefore, a student may need to take more than 6 credit hours of selective courses to meet the requirements for the certificate. It is recommended that the introductory course (SYS 300) is taken first, and the two foundational courses follow in any order (SYS 350 and SYS 400). The selective courses can also be taken at any stage during the program. If a student has taken an eligible course before the start of the program, that course can still be counted towards fulfillment of the certificate requirements.

Certificate in Systems is administered through the Office of the Provost and is governed by the PSC Educational Committee representing different Purdue colleges. Upon completion of the program, students will receive an official certificate. The SYS courses in the programs had been previously offered cross-listed in the different variations between Fall 2014 and Spring 2018. If a student has completed any of these courses, the course can be counted towards fulfillment of the certificate requirements. For the list of the course details click here.

3 Required Courses UCC
SYS 300 – It’s A Complex World, Addressing Global Challenges (Fundamentals of Systems Science) ✔STS
SYS 350 – Systems Theories and Approaches (Theories and Methodologies) ✔STS
SYS 400 – Science and Technology Policy (Applied Systems Thinking)

 

Choose 2 Selective Courses UCC
College of Agriculture 20 courses 5 UC g: 3 STS, 2 BSS
College of Engineering 14 courses
College of Education 3 courses 2 UCC: 1 BSS, 1 OC
College of Health and Human Sciences  6 courses
College of Liberal Arts  27 courses 9 UCC: 5 BSS, 2 HUM, 2 STS
Krannert School of Management  3 courses
Purdue Polytechnic Institute  14 courses 1 UCC: STS/IL
College of Science 11 courses 2 UCC: 1 STS, 1 STS/IL
Select 2 courses from a list of 92 courses that include 18 UCC courses

 

Graduate Certificate in Systems

The study plan for the graduate certificate includes three graduate SYS courses (9 credit hours) that introduce fundamental of systems thinking and enable students to gain a systems perspective, learn tools and methodologies that can be applied in a variety of complex problems, and discuss emerging grand challenges at all levels. (for more information on PSC’s certificate programs, see above section)

Graduate Certificate in Systems is administered through the Office of the Provost and is governed by the PSC Educational Committee representing different Purdue colleges. Upon completion of the program, students will receive an official certificate. The SYS courses in the programs had been previously offered cross-listed in the different variations between Fall 2014 and Spring 2018. If a student has completed any of these courses, the course can be counted towards fulfillment of the certificate requirements. For the list of the course details click here.

Required Courses for Graduate Certificate in Systems
SYS 500 – Perspectives On Systems (Introduction to Systems Thinking)
SYS 510 – Tools And Methodologies For Designing Systems (Theories and Methodologies)
SYS 530 – Practical Systems Thinking (Applied Systems Thinking)

 

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