In this text, seven invited lectures cover topics from solid-state physics, co-operative search, computer simulation in fluids, and reaction-diffusion systems, to applications in physics, chemistry, and biology. The work seeks to provide a smooth transition from textbooks to literature in specialized journals. Therefore, effort has been made to write the notes pedagogically for graduate students and to give a comprehensive description of each topic. Some exercises are proposed and some practical computer sessions are illustrated.
Invited lectures - a variational approach to exciton-phonon coupling; the power of co-operation; microscopic computer simulation of fluids; nonequilibrium potential in reaction-diffusion systems; the statistical mechanics of absorbing states; on the self-organization of migrating individuals; irreversible transitions in reaction systems; contributed papers. (Part contents)