Accessibility statement

York Cross-disciplinary Centre for Systems Analysis

Starch Granules
Pedigree Tree
Lorentz strange attractor

YCCSA is a community of researchers drawn from different departments developing novel mathematical, computational and analytical methods and tools for the analysis and modelling of complex systems.  


Professor Susan Stepney
YCCSA Director

Welcome to YCCSA.  We are an open community of cross-disciplinary researchers, drawn from a diverse range of departments across the University at York.  We are working together, developing and applying novel methods and tools to analyse, model, explore, and solve complex problems that cannot be tackled by one discipline alone.

Some 70 YCCSA staff and research students are co-located in purpose-built dedicated research space in the Ron Cooke Hub on the new Heslington East campus.  Other YCCSA members reside in their home departments, and are very much part of the YCCSA community.

As well as carrying out cross-disciplinary research, we also reflect on the process itself, and develop new ways to help bring researchers together and bridge the gaps between disciplines.  We each bring our own different and valuable perspectives to the challenges of researching complex systems.

Do browse our site to find out more about our people, our past and current research projects, and our engagement activities and events.

Research Themes

YCCSA's research takes three broad themes within the realm of complex systems research:
  • Resilient and Adaptive Systems
  • Biomedical and Ecological Systems
  • Natural Computation and Engineering

See current and completed research

Sabbaticals in YCCSA

Come and take your sabbatical in YCCSA
Are you interested in cross-disciplinary work and want to work with cross-disciplinary scientists - then consider taking your sabbatical in YCCSA.  Please contact the member of staff you would like to work with and they will sponsor your application.

We can provide financial assistance with bench fees in some circumstances.  For further information contact our team.

Featured research provides information on all aspects of the discipline of oral and maxillofacial surgery,  from impacted teeth, orofacial pain, mouth ulcers, orofacial infections, trauma, to mouth and skin cancers. Some of these conditions will affect approximately 1 in 4 people in their lifetime.

The website provides accurate information about conditions, treatment, and managing the consequences of conditions and treatment in the mouth, jaws and face. One aim is to help patients to take ownership of their conditions and help them to help themselves. However, the website is designed as a single-platform information resource for patients, carers and professionals alike.
See Research page

Upcoming events

Next YCSSA Seminar

Thursday 18 Mar 2021, 2:30-4:30pm GMT

James Borg: Lecturer in Evolutionary Systems; School of Computing and Mathematics; Keele University

Coloured noise and the evolution of environmental tolerance in artificial evolutionary systems

Ecological, environmental, and geophysical time series consistently exhibit the characteristics of coloured noise, in this talk we argue that our models of environmental variability should also exhibit those characteristics, especially when exploring artificial evolutionary dynamics. To illustrate and explore the effects of different noise colours, we apply a simple evolutionary model that examines the trade-off between specialism and generalism in fluctuating environments, and the effects of reproductive rates on evolved levels of environmental tolerance. The results of the model clearly demonstrate a need for greater generalism as environmental variability becomes `whiter', whilst specialisation is favoured as environmental variability becomes `redder'. Pink noise, sitting midway between white and red noise, is shown to be the point at which the pressures for generalism and specialism balance, providing some insight into why `pinker' noise is increasingly being seen as an appropriate model of typical environmental variability. Ultimately, we argue that the characteristics of a model's environmental variation matter, with noise colour not only influencing evolved levels of environmental tolerance but also the interaction between reproductive rate and environmental tolerance.

Summer 2020 Seminar Series