Mathematical Modelling of complex systems in the field of energy ()

Lecturer (assistant)
Duration3 SWS
TermSommersemester 2023
Language of instructionEnglish
DatesSee TUMonline


After attending the course, the student is able to: - identify complex socio-economic systems in the energy field, - explain the basics of quantitative modeling techniques (especially cellular automata, sociodynamics, and complex graphs), - apply the aforementioned methods to simple examples.


Relying on technical aspects to model systems in the energy field is usually not sufficient to grasp the complexity of the systems. In reality, aspects such as user-behavior, acceptance, and communication play an important role. Three mathematical methods are presented in this course, that could be used to model the socio-economic aspects. How do cities grow? How do innovative, decentralized technologies such as photovoltaics expand? How do social networks influence our opinions? Similar questions will be asked in this course and they will be answered for simplified cases. The methods will be explained using Matlab simulations as well.


Fundamental knowledge in: - energy systems - differential equations - Matlab

Teaching and learning methods

The lecture consists of presentations conducted by the lecturer. The slides for the presentations will be shared in Moodle before the lecture. The blackboard will be eventually used to do some simple calculations. The exercises for the tutorials will also be uploaded before each tutorial. It is expected that the students try to solve the exercises by themselves - preferably in teams before discussing them with the tutor. A sample solution will also be uploaded. The tutorials require the participation of the students and it is recommended to bring laptops/tablets to run some code. Besides, the forum function in Moodle will be used as a platform where the students can ask questions and receive answers from both the teachers and the other students. Additional functions of Moodle (e.g. quiz) will be eventually used to support the students in understanding the content of the lectures. There will also be homework exercises that require the use of Matlab.


The module exam consists of a written exam that lasts 90 minutes. The exam is made of exercises that test whether the general concepts of complex systems are understood. A big part of the exam consists of mathematical problems where the basics of the models are applied to simple examples. The exam will be graded. Students are encouraged to solve the homework exercises, either alone or in small groups. If a student submits 75% of the homework in time, he/she will get a bonus of 0,3 in the final grade.