Complex Sociotechnical Systems: The Case for a New Field of Study

Joseph Sussman, JR East Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems and interim director of the MIT Engineering Systems Division, presented this year’s Charles L. Miller Lecture, titled “Complex Sociotechnical Systems: The Case for a New Field of Study,” to an overflow audience in Grier Room B (Building 34) on April 25. This lecture series is co-sponsored by the MIT Engineering Systems Division and the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), and honors Charles L. Miller, who served as head of CEE from 1962-1969.

Sussman defined and examined the linked concepts of “critical contemporary issues” and “complex sociotechnical systems.” Critical contemporary issues encompass the most significant and pressing challenges we face today, including issues such as global climate change, energy/environment, the global economy, national security and mobility. These issues often involve technical systems and components, and also have great social, political and/or economic relevance.

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Miller Lecture Series

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