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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Celebrating Latinx Voices in STEM Focuses on Latinx Scientists During Hispanic Heritage Month

On October 5th and 6th, the "Celebrating Latinx Voices in STEM" symposium at the Discovery building, supported by WISELI, WID, and CALS, marks Hispanic Heritage Month. It features presentations by UW-Madison Latinx scientists, seeking to unite students, researchers, and faculty in an interdisciplinary forum with talks, games, identity discussions, and networking to spotlight Latin American scientists' unique perspectives.
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Genetic Symphonies: The Building Hox of Life

The Marie Christine Kohler Fellows are proud to announce the opening of the “Genetic Symphonies: The Building Hox of Life” exhibit, currently located at the UW–Madison Genetics Department. Graduate students Katharine Hubert and Sharon Tang created the interactive Art+Science Fusion exhibit at UW Makerspace during their participation in the Marie Christine Kohler Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery (WID).
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UW Grad Students Integrate Robotics into Work

INTEGRATE is a new unique, interdisciplinary program in WID that can train graduate students to consider both the technical and societal challenges of introducing robots into the workplace. 
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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

Double mobius loop with Resilience, Robustness, and Adaptability superimposed on itEvery month, WID presents a seminar in which two faculty or their delegates will present their research and how it connects with the WID theme of Resilience, Robustness, and Adaptability. Colleagues will pair up to develop a seminar that presents parallels, collaborative projects, or just two different views of this theme. Each 25-minute talk will take place in the Orchard View Room with light refreshments. There is also a virtual viewing option.