A University of New Mexico student who is pursuing a double major in Physics and Astronomy, and Biology has now been accepted into the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) summer research program on complexity.


“I was both surprised and proud to learn that the global center of complexity research is here in New Mexico,” William Crockett said.

Operated as an nonprofit, SFI is considered the world’s leading research center for complex systems science. First founded in 1984, SFI was the first research institute dedicated to the study of complex adaptive systems. In 2002, SFI created the complexity program that has grown to be competitive.

“Complexity research is a way to answer these questions, where the answer lies in the interactions of parts, not in the parts themselves,” Crockett said.  “I hope to explore how this kind of thinking can help answer questions in biology while I participate in the program.”

The SFI Undergraduate Research Program includes a 10-week residential experience for undergraduate students. During this time, students can advance their research skills and prepare for the next steps in their academic and professional careers.

Crockett says his acceptance into the program is a product of hard work and perseverance, as it is his third time applying to the program. Crockett grew up in Albuquerque and attended public schools up until he decided to attend UNM for college. He says that's when he became interested in the concept of complex systems.

After he finishes his undergraduate schooling, Crockett says he plans to pursue a doctorate in computational biology. 

“I also believe that furthering our understanding of biology will lead to new technologies that can help us combat climate change and disease, and I hope to contribute to solutions for these problems through research,” Crockett said.