Our Mission

sfComplex’s mission is to create a collaborative workspace that fosters applied complexity science through interdisciplinary education, outreach, and development of innovative technologies that address real-world problems, enable social cooperation and create economic opportunities.

sfComplex has three strategic goals that guide this effort:

  • Create virtual and physical spaces to foster the application of advanced computational tools, including complexity science, to artistic creation, education, problem solving, group development, and conflict resolution.
  • Provide the leadership, scientific expertise, infrastructure and technological tools needed to support applied complexity science; and
  • Educate the general public and the scientific community about using complexity science to solve real world problems, enhance economic artistic growth, and support social cooperation.

The notions of creativity, innovation, and multi/inter-disciplinary investigation are critical to sfComplex’s mission—and the expectations, personal traits and commitments of the individuals there. We express them through these key activities:


Education is a primary activity at sfComplex. We embrace the principle of learning-by-doing: We involve students in active projects in a way that lets them be part of, and contribute to, the project team. Project-based learning offers a clarity of purpose and a sense of accomplishment that enhances the participants’ self-esteem. Teachers, students and private and public sector organizations are invited to take advantage of our internships, mentorships and student-implemented projects.

sfComplex also offers a variety of student- and youth-based programs, non-academic programs. They include supporting the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge and Project Guts as well as offering internships and mentorships for highly-motivated students. An apprenticeship program will contribute directly to the ability of local students to enter this growing field.

Public policy

Public policy determines much about the future of our communities and the future of our planet. Policy decisions, planning and resource management strategies can be facilitated with sophisticated information technologies. sfComplex will promote these tools through research, forums, workshops, and projects. By bringing together diverse experts in virtual and physical spaces, sfComplex will encourage synergy between different perspectives, approaches and projects. Issues that lend themselves to this approach include:

• 3D wildfire simulation and emergency response systems

• Water and resource management

• Community development, in-fill and sprawl

•Traffic patterns, zoning effects


Santa Fe’s fame as a center for the arts is well-known. Less understood is the growing use of computers and other intelligent electronics to blur the distinction between traditional arts and new technology. Similar to photography in the late 1800’s, computers are redefining artistic boundaries. sfComplex works with local artists to exchange ideas across this boundary and open the door to new and innovative forms of artistic expression.

Complexity research

Thanks to the influence of the Santa Fe Institute, which has pioneered much of the research into complex systems, Santa Fe is internationally known for its complexity science-based businesses. Much of their work is project-based, which creates an ebb-and-flow in the demands for talent and resources. sfComplex offers the many practitioners of this craft in Santa Fe an opportunity to work together on projects such as:

  1. Micro Mini Air Vehicles
  2. Digital History Project
  3. Santa Fe Housing Modeling
  4. Complex Writing Workshop
  5. Robotic Furniture
  6. SimSkiArea with Monte Sol Mentorees
  7. Stereo and Computational Photography for Cultural Preservation
  8. Occam’s Razor, a juried art show


sfComplex exists to expand the use of collaborative approaches to creativity, problem solving and education, using the most advanced scientific and computational systems available. This role extends far beyond the physical workspace called the complex. By using all the tools available to us, we will communicate with local, national and international communities about our work in Santa Fe and elsewhere. Whether it’s a live feed of a local talk or reports on the projects and studies at the complex, we broadcast our work — and the role Santa Fe plays in this important effort — to all interested parties.

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