Complex systems expert to deliver COFES keynote

Melanie Mitchell will explore the “sciences of complexity,” a multi-discipline approach to adaptive behavior in complex systems.

An expert in complex systems will deliver the keynote address at COFES 2017, the annual think tank event for the engineering software industry.  

Melanie Mitchell, Ph.D.

Melanie Mitchell is “an intellectual leader in the field of complex adaptive systems and one of the most effective communicators of complex systems ideas to scientists, engineers, and the public at large,” says C. C. Wood, External Professor, Former Vice President Santa Fe Institute.

Mitchell is the prize-winning author of ‘Complexity: A Guided Tour’ (Oxford, 2009) and creator of the Santa Fe Institute’s ‘Complexity Explorer’ series of online courses. She will give the Friday morning opening keynote at COFES 2017: The Congress On the Future of Engineering Software. COFES 2017 is being held — as it is every year — in Scottsdale, Arizona, April 6-9 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort.

In her keynote “An Introduction to Complexity” Mitchell will take participants on a tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among a myriad of individual components. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena.

“The sciences of complexity have forced us to reexamine long-held assumptions about the way the world works, in disciplines ranging from genetics to economics, from insect colonies to human social networks,” Mitchell explains. “My talk will explore some of the important lessons we have learned from complex systems thinking.”

Now in its 18th year, COFES is the annual, invitation-only event for the design and engineering software industry. Widely recognized as a think-tank event, COFES ( gathers design and engineering software leaders (vendors, users, press, and analysts) together to discuss the role engineering technology will play in the future survival and success of business. COFES is renowned for hosting leading keynote visionaries that provide a new perspective on the future of the industry. The by-invitation-only COFES is a Cyon Research event. Apply for an invitation at

The Scottsdale Plaza Resort, home for COFES every year since it started in 2000.