Institute for Advanced Study (IAS)


We live in a world where everything seems to be interwoven with everything else, and where cause and effect are hard to unravel. Understanding what kind of intervention will produce what type of outcome, is one of the most urgent and challenging questions of our time. At the IAS, researchers from a wide range of fields work together on complex scientific and societal challenges. The question unifying them all is: can complex adaptive systems be controlled?

  • Foto: Joel Filipe, Unsplash


    Science and art have a long history of entanglement. The goal of the ArtScience group at the IAS is to discover domains where art and science converge to forge new, emergent knowledge practices, and in so doing, push humanistic inquiry in new and ...

    Read more
  • Photo: Joshua Sortino, Unsplash

    Complexity in economics and finance

    Many economic models are based on perfectly rational agents, and don't take into account the high degree of unpredictability in human behaviour. At the IAS we aim to develop more realistic economic models to help policy-makers make better ...

    Read more
  • Photo: William Bout, Unsplash

    Foundations of complex systems

    Exploring the dynamics of complex systems from a fundamental perspective is crucial for further reasoning about the effects of our intervention strategies on complex challenges, whether climate change, global health or financial markets. By using ...

    Read more
  • Photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash

    Health systems

    Understanding the interplay between physiological, mental and socio-economic factors that have an impact on health is crucial to find effective responses to major public health challenges. At the IAS we aim to develop predictive models for ...

    Read more
  • Photo: Francisco Galarza, Unsplash

    Networks of crime and terrorism

    To what extent are current judicial and other instruments sufficient to effectively combat crime and terrorism in its diverse forms? At the IAS we aim to develop models that can help to assess the effect of current intervention strategies and - ...

    Read more
  • Policy by Simulation

    Policy by Simulation is a collaboration with TNO aimed at developing new multiscale computational models that help to predict the effect of policy measures, technology development and new business models in several domains (e.g. energy ...

    Read more
  • Photo: Clint Adair, Unsplash

    Simulation based Science @ UvA

    To deepen our understanding of the complex systems that we study, we need to formulate quantitative and qualitative models and explore those models via computer simulation. At the IAS, we bring together researchers who work on such simulation ...

    Read more
  • Photo: Denys Nevozhai, Unsplash

    Urban complexity

    Countries are becoming increasingly urbanised, causing challenges ranging from crime and epidemics to mobility and poverty. At the same time, the amount of data and information that is being collected on a daily basis is exploding. At the IAS, we ...

    Read more