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Notes on David Woods's Resilience Engineering short course

These are my personal, unofficial notes on David Woods's Resilience Engineering short couse.

2016 lectures

A set of lectures from 2016 are hosted on YouTube at

2015 lectures

A set of lectures from 2015, which were a collaboration between Ohio State University's Cognitive Systems Engineering Laboratory, O'Reiliy Media and the Resilience Engineering Association, were originally linked from OSU (internet archive link).

The individual lectures are still accessible at the links below:

My notes

These are the notes I took watching the lectures. I took a combination of handwritten notes (using my reMarkable tablet) and typed notes:

Summary notes

Handwritten notes

Typed notes



Flash boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis


Woods mentions several readings in his lectures, but as of this writing there isn't a publicly available list of them. I've tried to guess based on his description of them in the lectures.

D. L. Alderson and J. C. Doyle, "Contrasting Views of Complexity and Their Implications For Network-Centric Infrastructures," in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics - Part A: Systems and Humans, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 839-852, July 2010. doi: 10.1109/TSMCA.2010.2048027

Perry & Wears, Underground Adaptations: Case studies from Health care:

Work-arounds, make-work, and kludges by Koopman and Hoffman:

Richard Cook’s “Being Bumpable” - intensive care units

Cook, Richard I; Woods, David D; McDonald, John S. Human Performance in Anesthesia. Technical Report CSEL91.003, April 1991. Cognitive Systems Engineering Laboratory, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.29675.36648

Chapter: How adapative systems fail: In book: Resilience Engineering in Practice, Chapter: How Adaptive Systems Fail, Publisher: Ashgate, Editors: E. Hollnagel, J. Paries, J. Wreathall, D. D. Woods, pp.127-143

Stephens, R.J. & Woods, David & Patterson, Emily. (2015). Patient boarding in the emergency department as a symptom of complexity-induced risks. Resilience in Everyday Clinical Work. 129-144.

Stephen Lansing paper Balinese water temples:

The theory of graceful extensibility: basic rules that govern adaptive systems:

Cook R, Rasmussen J “Going solid”: a model of system dynamics and consequences for patient safety BMJ Quality & Safety 2005;14:130-134.

Elinor Ostrom: Coping with tragedies of the commons

Simon's Slice: Five Fundamental Tradeoffs that Bound the Performance of Human Work Systems (Hoffman & Woods):'s_Slice_Five_Fundamental_Tradeoffs_that_Bound_the_Performance_of_Human_Work_Systems

Al Roth paper about markets unraveling:

Feltovich & Spiro paper about oversimplifications:


Notes on David Woods's Resilience Engineering short course




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