Complex Systems Modelling Group

Award Month: 
March - April 2011

The SFU Complex Systems Modelling Group is a collaboration between the IRMACS Centre, the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies (ICURS) and the Faculty of Health Sciences. The focus of the group is on modelling complex systems relevant to social welfare. Key to any successful model of a complex system is that it must exhibit the salient features of the real system and yet not be more complicated than is absolutely necessary. The art of modelling lies in making the complicated seem simple. This has been the guiding principle in our approach to modelling. Some examples of past and present projects are: The Criminal Justice System, Criminal Networks, Computational Criminology, and Modelling Post-surgery Recovery Rates.

About Project Leader: Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Rutherford

Dr. Rutherford is the Scientific Director for the CSMG. Prior to joining the CSMG, he was the Scientific Executive Officer at the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS). Dr. Rutherford holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics from the University of British Columbia and held postdoctoral fellowships at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, and the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, Italy. His research spans a wide range of fields within the mathematical sciences. In mathematical physics, his main focus has been on quantum-mechanical many-body problems. In health research, he worked on the design and evaluation of protocols for electronic health records and applications of queuing theory to surgical waitlists and the acute care system. He has also worked on application of dynamical systems methods to health care modelling, criminal justice system modelling, and epidemiology.