Exploring Change in Complex Systems

The world’s greatest scientific challenges can’t be met by individual scientists, laboratories, or departments.

The world is changing rapidly due to alterations in our planet and new technology. Climate change and pandemics present existential challenges and new opportunities. How can we learn to respond to a changing world in a manner that amplifies benefits and minimizes harm? Are there lessons in biological and engineered systems that inform one another and facilitate higher levels of performance? If we fail to understand change and learn to anticipate and adapt to it, will our species have a future?
The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery is an experiment in interdisciplinarity, combining the best minds in new teams with powerful tools that transcend the boundaries of departments and fields to study change in complex systems. Learn more about WID >

Stories of Discovery

Research, outreach, and initiatives at WID embody the Wisconsin Idea — reaching beyond the walls of the institute and the UW campus and into the lives of citizens across the state, country, and world.

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Artificial Imagination: Exploring the Convergence of Arts and AI

Division of the Arts Director Chris Walker helms this year’s installment of the popular “Big Ideas for Busy People” event “Am AI Art Too? – How AI is Transforming the Creative Process.” Walker will explore how rapid technological advancements have propelled art and creative expression into new territory on Tuesday night, October 17.
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L. lactis: The Unsung Hero of Wisconsin’s World-Famous Cheese

CaSP is bringing awareness a hardworking microbe Lactococcus lactis, which is the bacterium used to make cheese. Join policymakers, scientists, dairy, and industry leaders for a night showcasing Wisconsin's overlooked hero and hear why Wisconsin should designate L. lactis as its official state microbe on October 24, at 5:00 PM at the Discovery Building. This event is free and open to the public.
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Expertise at WID

WID researchers make fundamental discoveries at the intersections of disciplines to solve problems that require an interdisciplinary approach.

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Discovery Hubs

Resilience, Robustness, Adaptability – WID Seminar Series

Every month, WID labs present their exploration of change in complex systems focusing on resilience, robustness, and adaptability. A colleague in a different discipline will introduce each talk from their perspective. The talk will take place in the Orchard View Room with light refreshments. There is also a virtual viewing option.