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Systems Science and Obesity, Johns Hopkins University

4.6
107 ratings
26 reviews

About this Course

Systems science has been instrumental in breaking new scientific ground in diverse fields such as meteorology, engineering and decision analysis. However, it is just beginning to impact public health. This seminar is designed to introduce students to basic tools of theory building and data analysis in systems science and to apply those tools to better understand the obesity epidemic in human populations. There will also be a lab in which students will use a simple demonstration model of food acquisition behavior using agent-based modeling on standard (free) software (netlogo). The central organizing idea of the course is to examine the obesity epidemic at a population level as an emergent properties of complex, nested systems, with attention to feedback processes, multilevel interactions, and the phenomenon of emergence. While the emphasis will be on obesity, the goal will be to explore ways in which the systems approach can be applied to other non-communicable diseases both nationally and internationally. Topics will include: a) the epidemiology of obesity across time and place, b) theories to explain population obesity, c) the role of environments and economic resources in obesity c) basic concepts and tools of systems science, d) modeling energy-balance related behaviors in context, e) agent-based models, systems dynamic models, and social network models...

Top reviews

By PV

Sep 12, 2017

This course was surprisingly challenging and educational. I had little background in system science, and very much enjoyed the learning process!

By HH

Sep 12, 2017

Very interesting and useful tools for analyzing complex networks and designing interventions.

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26 Reviews

By olivier hergault

Dec 18, 2018

I've finished week 1, and I think it could have been much much better.

The subject is very interesting.

The pace of speech by the prof is way too slow, and the quiz isn't up to my standards.

I urge them to add explanations for instance, it would help to increase the understanding of the student, not just evaluate if she has viewed the (somewhat boring) videos..

I'll update this review after one or two more weeks...

UPDATE:

this gets even WORSE towards the end and the last quiz is bogus.

Really, this is sad, and it's making me angry, since the subject is interesting, efforts have been put towards this course (not only mine I mean) but the result is a bunch a videos lacking professionalism (huge typos in the quizzes, files missing, lack of overview binding the videos together, lack of proof for some assertions etc)

By Dean Plassaras

Sep 02, 2018

Great course! They explain greatly why obesity is a result that comes from complex socioeconomic systems. They also give you insight on how you can use software that can imitate such systems. By doing so, you can develop systems in your own comfort from your own PC and see the results. Truth is we need far more data and human systems are too complex, but this is a good initiative and we should pay attention to their findings! I hope in the near future to be part of a big system development that can bring clear results so that we can take definite action. My opinion is that we kinda know what to do, but some lobbies and established corporations are not changing their attitudw towards human public health and they keep sickening us. NOT TO MENTION cruelty against animals.

By Ngo Tung Son

Aug 23, 2018

Finally, I finish this course. Thank you for your shared knowledge.

By Bui Ngoc Anh

Aug 20, 2018

Useful course with excellent learning materials. Thank you!

By Luis Wolmer Diniz Mariani

Feb 26, 2018

I am an electrical engineer who worked for a few years as a system's engineer. Lately I have been interested in studying how the dynamics in working environment affects itself. When I saw the System Science and Obesity course at Coursera I had the feeling it would present me some social concepts and tools which would give me a starting point. I had the feeling the knowledge the course offered would go beyond health systems. After finishing the course, I am really happy to conclude I was right. I am also really greatful to Johns hopkins professors who made this excellent course available. Thank you all!

By Melanie Cedillo

Oct 29, 2017

good, you need more time to complete the quizzes.

By Carolina Akiko

Oct 24, 2017

great

By Luis Trías

Sep 29, 2017

The approaches to understand obesity in this course are really interesting and I enjoyed them. Obesity is such a complex problem and it was nice to learn from it with different softwares and a lot of different approaches.

By Hugo Gustavo Gonzalez Hernandez

Sep 12, 2017

Very interesting and useful tools for analyzing complex networks and designing interventions.

By Paige Vlieger

Sep 12, 2017

This course was surprisingly challenging and educational. I had little background in system science, and very much enjoyed the learning process!