Briefly from wikipedia,

Systems theory is the interdisciplinary study of systems, i.e. cohesive groups of interrelated, interdependent components that can be natural or human-made. Every system has causal boundaries, is influenced by its context, defined by its structure, function and role, and expressed through its relations with other systems. A system is "more than the sum of its parts" by expressing synergy or emergent behavior.

In early math courses, we are often taught how to solve mathematics provided models of a scenario, but never quite how theories on how to come with models. The stuff one finds in even the earliest conception of this theory in General System theory, Ludwig von Bertalanffy seems to be quite useful in providing an understanding for this.

Yet, his name or the idea of system theory in general theory is never mentioned Mathematics classes. Hence, my question, how did the system theory as a field fall out of public view?

  • $\begingroup$ I tried to study system theory when I was in grad school, but concluded that this was a case where the totality was far less than the sum of the parts. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Olson
    2 days ago
  • $\begingroup$ According to the Google Ngram of systems theory, it did not fall out of public view at all. It is just that it's natural home is not mathematics. Heuristic reasoning on how to come up with applicable models is not what mathematics is about, it is about extracting what one can from models that have already come up. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    2 days ago
  • $\begingroup$ Imo, your question as posed is erroneous or, rather, it's applicable and true only for people who don't know, don't understand or reject it. In other words, there are many applied academic and scholarly domains where systems theory is alive, kicking and well, e.g., ecology, logistics and supply chain models, operations research, complexity theory, yada yada. You don't say where your math courses were taught but they sound like purely theoretical programs where ST would not be a natural fit. $\endgroup$
    – DJohnson
    2 days ago
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I haven't attended college yet, but nevertheless, I have practicipated in many mathematics forums on the internet, yet I've never head of this field there @DJohnson $\endgroup$ 2 days ago


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