ENGS 18: System Dynamics in Policy Design and Analysis
This course introduces systems dynamics, an approach to policy design and analysis based upon feedback principles and computer simulation. The approach is useful for gaining an understanding of the underlying structural causes of problem behavior in social, economic, political, environmental, technological, and biological systems. Goals of this approach are to gain better understanding of such problem behaviors and to design policies aimed at improving them. Lectures and exercises illustrate applications of the approach to real, current problems such as urban decay, resource depletion, environmental pollution, product marketing and distribution, and agricultural planning in an expanding population. The similarity and transferability of underlying feedback characteristics among various applications is emphasized. No prior engineering or computer science experience is necessary.