Informatics Research Seminar: Healthcare as a Complex System

 April 3 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Mirsad Hadzikadic, PhD
Presented from UNC-C

Broadcast Link: Seminar


Complex systems have been a topic of study in natural sciences for decades.  Physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, meteorology, and engineering practitioners have used the concept of complex systems to explain phenomena as diverse as phase transitions in physical matter, immune system functions, and weather patterns.  These systems have been modeled using, for the most part, the concept of dynamical systems and nonlinear equations.  Recently, social scientists started experimenting with complex systems tools developed in physics, mathematics, and engineering in order to better understand the nature of issues that our society is facing today.  Unlike natural systems, social systems involve active participation of system elements (they possess “will”).  Subsequently, a tremendous progress has been made in applying the methodology of Complex Adaptive Systems to Economics, Sociology, Transportation, Warfare, Decision Making, and other disciplines. However, we are still at the very beginning stage of the effective use of complexity tools and methodologies in healthcare. This talk will introduce the concept of complex adaptive systems and their potential applications in healthcare.


Mirsad Hadzikadic, PhD has over thirty years of information technology experience combining business and academic environments.  Dr. Hadzikadic joined the UNC Charlotte faculty in 1987 after receiving his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Southern Methodist University where he was a Fulbright Scholar.  In addition to publishing his scholarship, he has made presentations at national and international conferences, leading information technology firms, and universities.  His research/scholarship activities have been primarily focused on: data mining, cognitive science, medical informatics, and complex adaptive systems. From 1991 to 1997, Mirsad served as the Director of the Department of Medical Informatics and Department of Orthopedic Informatics of the Carolinas HealthCare System.  In 1998, he joined Deloitte and Touche Consulting Group as Manager in the Health Systems Integration Service Line.  He returned full time to the University in January 1999 to assume the chair position in Computer Science and serve as Associate Director of the School of Information Technology.  Mirsad helped to shepherd the transition from a school in the College of Engineering into an independent College of Computing and Informatics, and served as its Founding Dean.  Mirsad is currently serving as the Founding Director of the Complex Systems Institute at UNC Charlotte.  His current research interests include critical aspects of creativity/innovation, foundational aspects of the complexity theory, and the systems view of policies in financial services, economics, defense, healthcare, and political science.