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The Complex Adaptive Systems Intiative leverages trans-disciplinary relationships to address complex global challenges in health, sustainability, security and education by creating entirely new technologies and novel solutions. This requires integration of diverse research disciplines across the University and building an extended network of global collaborations.

A complex adaptive system is comprised of a heterogeneous and diverse network of interacting and independent agents that learn and adapt over time. Complex system behaviors are often said to be emergent and subject to self-organization. In short, the macro-level behavior of the system is more than the sum of the micro-level.