Visible to the public Systems Theory, Systems Thinking (cancelled)

This tutorial has been cancelled due to illness.

1:30-2:30, Wed. 24 April
Stephanie White (Long Island University)

Target audience: Modeling and simulation

This one hour talk discusses several important concepts in cybernetics, including organized complexity, transformation, feedback, and control. The talk concludes with a brief overview of three important systems thinking approaches which are based on these concepts: Jay Forrester's System Dynamics, Peter Checkland's Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), and Stafford Beer's Viable Systems Model (VSM). Using causal loops and System Dynamics, the analyst can model and simulate interactions among system elements and avoid emergent problems when a system or organization becomes operational. Using SSM, the analyst learns about the whole problem under study, the criteria for success, and all the influences and constraints. Using VSM the analyst diagnoses and controls the organization and works towards improving it.

About the Speaker

Dr. Stephanie White, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, is senior professor and member of the doctoral committee in the College of Information and Computer Science at Long Island University. She teaches courses in computer science, software and systems engineering, and information studies. Her research interests are in software and systems engineering, with emphasis on requirements engineering, systems modeling and analysis, and the interaction among systems and software engineers, and she has published more than 35 technical articles on these subjects. Previously she was Principal Engineer of Requirements and Architecture for the Northrop Grumman Advanced Technology and Development Center in Bethpage, New York. During her 20 year career at Grumman, she was Principal Investigator on a number of research contracts provided by Naval Research Laboratory and other agencies.

Dr. White developed methods and published research on classifying system requirements, and on modeling and analyzing complex systems. She led an inter-divisional team solving system/software engineering interface issues and served on the Integrated Methods Technical Advisory Group at the Software Productivity Consortium. She transferred technology to Grumman aircraft programs, was software lead on Grumman proposals, and managed aerospace personnel responsible for software requirements and architecture on major aircraft and space contracts. Appointed by the National Research Council, she served for three years as a member of the Board on Assessment of NIST Programs, Panel for Information Technology. The Board submits an annual report to the United States Congress. Dr. White was elected to the IEEE Computer Society (CS) Board of Governors and served as CS Vice President of Technical Activities. She is currently a Speaker in the IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Visitor Program, a member of the IEEE Thesaurus Editorial Board, Secretary of the IEEE Systems Council and Council representative to the IEEE Women in Engineering Committee. White has an M.S. in mathematics from New York University (NYU), and an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Polytechnic University, now known as NYU-Poly.