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Dr. Sez Atamturktur and Dr. Russ Marion give SLC Seminar on Friday, April 27 

Dr. Sez Atamturktur and Dr. Russ Marion will give the SLC Seminar on Friday, April 27. 

Time: Friday, April 27th, 12:20 PM - 1:10 PM EST

Location: Min H. Kao Building, Room 622

This meeting will be available through ZOOM for faculty, partner school students and industry. ZOOM info follows the speaker info.

Presenters: Dr. Sez Atamturktur, Assistant Vice President for Research Development and Provost’s Distinguished Professor, Clemson University and Dr. Russ Marion, Professor of Educational Leadership, Clemson University 

Title: Complexity Theory in Social Systems: Leadership and Research

Abstract: The presentation by Drs. Russ Marion and Sez Atamturktur addresses current theories of organizational change leadership, focusing in particular on complexity theory and complexity leadership theories; we also describe methodological strategies for analyzing complexity and complexity leadership theory. The presentation will overview two NSF-funded projects led by Drs. Marion and Atamturktur: National Research Traineeship (NRT) project on Resilient Infrastructure Systems, a transformative approach to graduate education and Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) project, a responsive, replicable, theoretically informed approach for creating a curricular scaffold by weaving the coursework. Both projects are informed by the complexity leadership theory as applied to management and education to establish an academic culture that promotes innovation through a collective impetus for change, thus enabling rapid adaptation to meet societal needs.

Complexity theory is a theory of dynamic, ever-changing systems. The theory emerged largely from the field of biology as a way to augment explanation of evolutionary dynamics among species. In adaptations to social systems, it explains how informal leadership dynamics foster emergent phenomenon such as creativity, adaptability, productivity, and learning.  Complexity leadership theory explores how humans can best lead complex social systems to enhance their production of positive emergent outcomes.

Methodologies for complex systems must capture intensively interactive processes among social participants.  Statistical procedures that evaluate only variables don’t serve complexity theorists well for at least two reasons: first, variables are not the proximal unit of analysis in complex systems, and second, interaction violates statistical assumptions about serial autocorrelation. For these reasons, complexity theorists turn to social network analysis (SNA), agent based modeling (ABM), qualitative procedures, and mathematical modeling.  We describe SNA and ABM, and address their use in scholarly research and in organizational evaluations.

Bio: Dr. Russ Marion, Professor of Educational Leadership at Clemson University, has written research and theoretical articles on complexity leadership, one of which was honored as best paper of the year by The Leadership Quarterly and the Center for Creative Leadership in 2001 and another which was recognized as Best Paper of the Last Ten Years in 2017 (this paper has been cited over 1500 times according to Google Scholar).  He served as a guest co-editor of a special issue of The Leadership Quarterly on leadership and complexity in 2007.  Marion is author of the books, The Edge of Organization (1999), Leadership in Education (2002 and 2015), and Complexity Leadership (2007).  h has conducted consultation evaluations in aeronautics, banking, research firms, hospitals, p-12 schools and in universities.  He co-organized workshops on complexity leadership at the Center for Creative Leadership and at George Washington University. Marion has lectured on complexity leadership at the India Institute of Technology at Kanpur, the Institute for Management Development in Switzerland, and in workshops on destructing complex movements for a US Department of Defense contractor. Marion has guest taught for Kenya’s Maasai Mara University, and at JUFE University and Nanchang Normal University in China.  He is currently co-PI on NSF-NRT and NSF-RED grants in Engineering and is using Complexity Leadership Theory to provide guidance for, and to evaluate those programs. 

Bio: Dr. Sez Atamturktur serves as the Assistant Vice President for Research Development and Provost’s Distinguished Professor at Clemson University. Dr. Atamturktur is a professor of environmental engineering and earth sciences, professor of mechanical engineering, professor of industrial engineering, and professor of civil engineering. Her research, focused on uncertainty quantification in scientific computing, has been documented in over 100 peer-reviewed publications in some of the finest engineering science journals and proceedings. Dr. Atamturktur’s research has received funding from several federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation, the Department of Education, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as industry organizations and partners, such as the National Masonry Concrete Association and Nucor. She serves as the director of the National Science Foundation-funded Tigers ADVANCE project, which focuses on improving the status of women and minority faculty at Clemson. In addition, Dr. Atamturktur is the director of the National Science Foundation-funded National Research Traineeship project at Clemson, with funding for over 30 doctoral students and a goal of initiating a new degree program on scientific computing and data analytics. Dr. Atamturktur is also the director of a Department of Education-funded Graduate Assistantship in Areas of National Need project that provides funding for 10 doctoral students. Dr. Atamturktur is one of the four co-directors of Clemson’s Center of Excellence in Next Generation Computing and Creativity. Prior to joining Clemson University, Dr. Atamturktur served as an LTV technical staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory.


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