Systems Thinking and Discrete Event Simulation


Units: 6


We are surrounded by complex systems with interrelated components. In this course, we will introduce two components of system analysis and modeling: Systems Thinking and Discrete Event Simulation. In the first part of the course, Systems Thinking, you will learn how to approach complex systems, identify their components, and understand the interactions and their impact on the system. In the second part of the class, you will learn practical skills by using Discrete Event Simulation to model and analyze real-world systems. At the end of the course, you will be able to understand and approach problems from a systems perspective and propose effective policies to improve the performance of the system.


The course will be divided into two main units: Systems Thinking and Discrete Event Simulation. The class will be a combination of lectures and in-class activities to support your learning process. You will also work on a course-long project on a topic of interest where you will apply the concepts learned. 

Learning Outcomes

•Understand complex systems and their interdependencies

•Learn the principles and techniques of Systems Thinking, including causal loop diagrams, stock-and-flow diagrams, and feedback loops

•Create and analyze Discrete Event Simulation models to represent dynamic systems

•Apply simulation models to solve real-world problems and make informed decisions 

Prerequisites Description

  • A course in statistics
  • Coding experience is desirable but not required