Україна, 04655, м. Київ, вул. Г. Сковороди, 2 корпус 6, кім. 410, тел.(044)425-60-42, 425-77-37 (факс)

University of Bergen

Main Courses

The three foundation courses are part of the curriculum of the International Master Program in System Dynamics at UiB. The first course, Principles of Dynamic Social Systems, is taught by Erling Moxnes and gives an introduction to the SD method. The second course, Model-based Analysis and Policy Design taught by the founder of the program Pal Davidsen, enables students to extend their knowledge about the SD method. The third course, System Dynamics Modeling Process taught by David Wheat, is a project-based course devoted to developing skills needed to build explanatory models of dynamic problems that emerge from real-world complex social and economic systems. Particularly important was a special fourth course specifically devoted for the Ukrainian students. Generically named Special Topics in System Dynamics, it is designed and conducted by David Wheat to developing Ukrainian version of MacroLab. Also, NaUKMA students got a chance to come to Bergen to develop skills in model-based policy design and implementation through taking system dynamics-based course Policy Design and Implementation and apply those skills to their individual research.

A major milestone was reached during the fall semester of 2014 when a new system dynamics course for undergraduate students titled Application of System Dynamics Methods in Finance was offered at NaUKMA for the first time. The one more important event is an introduction of the System Dynamics Methods in Finance course in 2015.

Courses in UIB

Fundamentals of Dynamic Social Systems

This is an introduction to the System Dynamics method, dynamic system structure and behaviour, misperceptions of dynamic systems, policy design and implementation. Students learn to recognize typical problem behaviours of dynamic systems, exemplified by global warming, overgrazing, unemployment, epidemics, price fluctuations etc. They learn how to represent hypotheses of social systems, and to simulate and understand how system structures produce problem behaviours. They learn about hypothesis testing where both structure and behaviour are compared to observations. They also learn why dynamic systems are easily misperceived and how problems can be caused by well intended but malfunctioning policies. Furthermore, the course gives training in applying the scientific method to socio-economic problems and it provides a common language for interdisciplinary research.

Special Topics in System Dynamics

Designed and conducted by David Wheat, the course was dedicated to developing Ukrainian version of his MacroLab, an SDbased macroeconomic model of the U.S. economy. Each year during the project, this course gave each NaUKMA cohort the opportunity to contribute to the development of MacroLab Ukraine, using particular characteristics of the Ukrainian economy.

Model-based Analysis and Policy Design

This is an introduction to System Dynamics analysis of non-linear, dynamic systems with emphasis on the relationship between system structure and behaviour, and on policy design and implementation. Students learn to build, simulate and test models of social, natural and hybrid systems, to analyze the structural causes of problem behavior and to develop and evaluate policies aimed at addressing such problems. The students gain a deep understanding of the intimate relationship between structure and behaviour in complex, dynamic systems; how structure gives rise to behavior and how the resulting behaviour may feed back to change the relative significance of the structural components of the system. This enables the students to analyze problems and to develop and evaluate policies of their own choice. The students also learn to distil the essence of a modelling experience and to communicate their analysis and design conclusions in the form of a compact executive summary.

System Dynamics Modelling Process

In this course, students apply the System Dynamics method to problems in both the public and private sectors. Students will apply and gain reinforcement of skills learned in other system dynamics courses as they follow a structured process for simulation modelling of dynamic problems in both social and natural systems. Emphasis is on designing simulation models to explain problematic dynamic behaviour, and then re-designing the models to represent the implementation of policies to improve behaviour. Students learn to use the system dynamics modelling process: define the dynamics of problems, develop hypotheses for problematic dynamic behaviour, analyze and validate computer simulation models, and design policies to improve systemic behaviour. In addition to learning from the lectures, students gain hands-on experience through quick tasks, weekly assignments, and an in-depth project. The reading list includes a primary textbook and supplemental materials.

Natural Resources Management

While there exists much relevant knowledge about natural resources, they are frequently mismanaged, often with dramatic consequences for those involved. One aim of the course is to build a solid intuitive understanding of the theories and principles underlying natural resources. A second aim is to help students develop the skills and competencies needed for proper management of for instance water reservoirs, fisheries, forests, animal herds, and climate, and to operate in product and quota markets.

For resource management, central topics are system descriptions, dynamics, economics, uncertainty and policy design. For management of commons problems, central topics are competitive games, regulation, and market-based institutions.

Model-based Socioeconomic Planning

In this course, the students are introduced to system dynamics-based models designed for studying and managing complex, dynamic socioeconomic problems in developing countries. Developing countries often struggle with long-lasting, comprehensive problems that seem immune to quick fixes. Students use the planning models as an aid to identifying the structural origin of such problems and designing and evaluating policies for their alleviation. The model-based analysis extends to macroeconomic, social, and environmental issues. While the focus is on problems in developing countries, some of the model-based insights also apply to problems faced by industrialized countries.

Policy Design and Implementation

This course embraces a key purpose of system dynamics modelling: improving the behaviour of social systems by designing feasible, cost-effective, and transparent public policies with minimal adverse unintended consequences. The focus is on public policies, but business policy design is also discussed and demonstrated. Students gain experience using a structured method for policy design and evaluation that reflects an informed view of institutional and cultural constraints on policy feasibility and outcomes, including costs and benefits. Students also develop skills for interacting with those for whom the modelling work is done, including elicitation of information about the dynamic problem, relevant organizational procedures, and potential obstacles to implementing new policies. In addition to learning from the lectures, students gain hands-on experience by weekly assignments and a project. The reading list includes a primary textbook and supplemental material.

Courses in NaUKMA

Application of system dynamics methods in finance (Oleksandr Faryna)

The aim of the course is the formation of the theoretical knowledge and practical skills of mastering and applying of the modern methods of simulation and analysis of the complex interrelations between elements of the economic and financial systems in dynamics. System dynamics is a versatile innovative method that is widely used in the fields of consulting, project management and enterprise risk management, state and regional regulation, macroeconomic planning and forecasting etc.

As part of the course the students are able to develop the ability to identify, formulate, and solve dynamic problems at the micro- and macro-level; get practical skills of structured presentation and illustrating relationships between the elements on the level of individual projects, enterprises, regions, countries, and the world via flow charts using software IThink; learn how to conduct an in-depth analysis through the virtual simulation of the time processes that occur between all links of the complex systems to find optimal and effective management and regulation approaches to apply them in reality.


System dynamics methods in finance (David Wheat)

This course introduces basic principles of economic dynamics and compares dynamic models with spreadsheet software and system dynamics software. Course Objectives are to enable students to…

  • Distinguish between static and dynamic economic models;
  • Use spreadsheet software to build dynamic models;
  • Use system dynamics software to build dynamic models;
  • Compare the spreadsheet and system dynamics approaches to dynamic modeling.

This is a distance learning course, developed for use with various online learning technologies. There will be live online lectures, video-taped lectures, reading assignments, slideshow tutorials, discussion board assignments, simulation exercises, online quizzes, and a modeling project. Computer lab sessions conducted by the teaching assistant will provide opportunities to improve the skills introduced during the lectures and assignments.