Chevron Left
Back to Systems Science and Obesity

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Systems Science and Obesity by Johns Hopkins University

190 ratings
50 reviews

About the Course

Systems science has been instrumental in breaking new scientific ground in diverse fields such as meteorology, engineering and decision analysis. However, it is just beginning to impact public health. This seminar is designed to introduce students to basic tools of theory building and data analysis in systems science and to apply those tools to better understand the obesity epidemic in human populations. There will also be a lab in which students will use a simple demonstration model of food acquisition behavior using agent-based modeling on standard (free) software (netlogo). The central organizing idea of the course is to examine the obesity epidemic at a population level as an emergent properties of complex, nested systems, with attention to feedback processes, multilevel interactions, and the phenomenon of emergence. While the emphasis will be on obesity, the goal will be to explore ways in which the systems approach can be applied to other non-communicable diseases both nationally and internationally. Topics will include: a) the epidemiology of obesity across time and place, b) theories to explain population obesity, c) the role of environments and economic resources in obesity c) basic concepts and tools of systems science, d) modeling energy-balance related behaviors in context, e) agent-based models, systems dynamic models, and social network models...

Top reviews

Mar 31, 2019

Fantastic course. Really thought provoking, and well presented. Useful as an intro to systems thinking, and as a way to understand the obesity epidemic in a nuanced way.

Sep 11, 2017

This course was surprisingly challenging and educational. I had little background in system science, and very much enjoyed the learning process!

Filter by:

26 - 50 of 50 Reviews for Systems Science and Obesity

By Musalula S

Sep 11, 2016

Great introductory course

By SEHA-01424

Mar 24, 2021

Very interesting course

By Taha M

Nov 12, 2020

i Learned so much

By Thiago G d S M

Feb 26, 2017

very good

By Paola S

Aug 6, 2017


By Carolina A

Oct 24, 2017


By Sofiul A

Jun 24, 2020


By Emayamsavitha

Apr 29, 2020


By Rachel A B

Oct 24, 2016

I very much enjoyed this course because it used a real-world example to teach systems thinking. I also appreciated that the more technical aspects, like using software, had been moved into Labs, which left space and time in the lectures to cover material relevant to the topic.

I was surprised at the lack of interaction, though. I have no idea if there were more than a handful of other students nor if there was a support team since there was hardly any participating in the discussion forum. One technical question remained unanswered for example... It seems that there could be a lot of great discussion on the course material if more engagement were encouraged.

By Rahul G

Oct 4, 2016

I enjoyed the course! It helped me organise information about methods in understanding complex systems. I would have definitely used some more detailed explanations about the model building process.

Thank you very much for your kind interest and effort!

By Reena A

Oct 28, 2016

Good course, the lab classes can be improved further.

not easily comprehensive

By Hadeel D

Aug 5, 2017

It is only that the language is little hard for non native speakers

By Mary P

Apr 28, 2020

enjoyed the course and learning about systems science soft ware.

By Bui N A

Aug 20, 2018

Useful course with excellent learning materials. Thank you!

By Melanie C

Oct 29, 2017

good, you need more time to complete the quizzes.

By Fatma P

Apr 28, 2021

i learned more about software designing.

By Jessica B

Sep 25, 2019

A good introduction to the methods

By Jorge A P

Mar 11, 2021

Buena teoría y dinámica

By jungsungmoon

Nov 22, 2019

very good!!

By Aboudalal M

Jul 11, 2016


By Margo

Oct 6, 2020

Wording of questions was questionable ! Also I couldn’t understand graphs! I will continue with net logo but I’d like more examples of working with obesity related data and how to interpret. Maybe that will become clearer when I work through tutorials on Netlogo

By Tomas S

Jun 19, 2020

While interesting it does little to provide me with a sense of confidence in my capability to apply Systems Science in the wild.

By Charleen S

Jul 25, 2017

More about systems analysis than obesity but interesting. Too much on computer model software.

By olivier h

Dec 18, 2018

I've finished week 1, and I think it could have been much much better.

The subject is very interesting.

The pace of speech by the prof is way too slow, and the quiz isn't up to my standards.

I urge them to add explanations for instance, it would help to increase the understanding of the student, not just evaluate if she has viewed the (somewhat boring) videos..

I'll update this review after one or two more weeks...


this gets even WORSE towards the end and the last quiz is bogus.

Really, this is sad, and it's making me angry, since the subject is interesting, efforts have been put towards this course (not only mine I mean) but the result is a bunch a videos lacking professionalism (huge typos in the quizzes, files missing, lack of overview binding the videos together, lack of proof for some assertions etc)

By George E

May 6, 2020

Two lecturers were engaging, two were tediously dull to listen to (x1.5 speed), two were quite difficult to understand.

Whilst the lectures were on obesity and society and systems modelling. However when it came to the agent based modelling... oh dear... Also no instructions for running the NetLogo models, I ran them on and two of them exceptioned on load.

I think the course was driven as a pilot project - so how it goes. More consideration needs to be given to the disembodied person in another state / country viewing this at home.

Again though, the engaging peeps with engaging topics were good value.