About Us

At Complex City Apps we develop applications to promote the results and outcomes of state of the art scientific research, making this research more understandable to a wider range of people. We are a group in YCCSA at the University of York.

We realise that scientific research is not always accessible. Research papers can be time consuming to read and difficult to follow until you know the relevant terminology. Our goal is to make our research accessible and fun. This is why we have produced Floqua, our first application. It uses research models of flocking behaviour to keep the fish together in a shoal and models of social and animal networks to make the fish behave in an interesting and realistic way. It is the use of scientific research that gives Floqua its unique game dynamic. You can find out more on the science page.

Floqua has been funded by the Research and Innovation Office at the University of York as a part of a pilot scheme set up to explore how research outcomes can be promoted using apps. This office is responsible for coordinating technology transfer within the University and works with researchers and academics to help them deliver impactful research and identify ways in which it can be packaged to bring benefit to society.


The York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis (YCCSA) at the University of York is made up of members from many different departments including; Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronics, Management and Mathematics. By working together we are able to learn from the research of different disciplines and incorporate it into our work. Using knowledge from multiple fields allows us to address problems too complex to be tackled by one discipline alone.

We work collaboratively on research problems using the knowledge gained in many disciplines. The research that we perform extends across fields as diverse as tracking ants in the field, swarm robotics, mathematical models of viruses (.pdf), farmland management for wild birds and the structure of killer whale societies. We also like to ponder the different meanings that the same word can have in different disciplines and the implications this has.

If you would like to find out more about the research we do in YCCSA then please have a look at our research webpage. If you have a specific question then there are contact details for all of the YCCSA members. Prof Susan Stepney is the director of YCCSA, you can find out more about her thoughts and ideas on her blog.

About the University of York

The University of York is one of the success stories in UK higher education. Since its foundation in 1963, it has powered its way to a consistently high ranking in the UK and is one of just six post-war universities which appear in the world top 100.

The University was recently ranked eighth in the world and number one in the UK in new Times Higher Education world rankings of universities less than 50 years old. This latest accolade coincides with the University’s recent invitation to join the Russell Group and confirms the University’s enormous impact in teaching, research and engagement in less than 50 years.

The University’s research focuses on the challenges of the modern world and on a commitment to benefit society. The research profile is impressive on an international stage with joint collaborations around the globe. The lives of many thousands of people are improved as a result of work done at York.

To get involved with the University please see our news and upcoming events. You can also find out about studying at the University of York.

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