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Introduction to dynamical systems in human movement

26th to 30th of September 2022


  • Master students
  • PhD students
  • Post-Doc students

Duration of the Course

30h during five days of a week


The course assumes and requires sufficient a priori knowledge and skills in mathematics and programming. For instance, they should be able to write simple scripts/programming lines, program loops (for-loop, if-loop, etc.), import/load data, build and modify data arrays (i.e., do calculations), plot data in a figure, and use the Help-function. Students that (think that they) do not yet have sufficient skills are emphatically requested to take proper preparations by themselves before the start of the course.’

Course Introduction

This course covers the basic mathematical principles on the field of linear and nonlinear dynamical systems. Special reference is given to the study of human movement, with emphasis on coordination and motor control. It is intended that the participant acquires knowledge of some of the basic mathematical principles, concepts and methods, from the reading of (scientific) literature on this subject. In addition, these principles, concepts and terms must also be understood by adopting practical methods through model-based computer simulations using Matlab / Simulink (i.e., the practical assignments are a means rather than a goal!)

To download the program click here.


The course consists of 10h of lectures and 20h of practical classes. Theoretical classes will discuss theoretical, mathematical and application issues. Participants are expected to prepare for each class by reading the required literature (see schedule in program). The structure of the practical classes will be as follows: At the beginning of each class, there is an introduction to the assignment after which students advance to the practical component of the assignment. The description of the task to be performed and, if applicable, its attachments are available in item 6 (see program). The teacher and assistant (s) are available for supervision and help. When the task is not completed within the 4 practical hours, students are expected to finalize on individual work hours.


175€ Regular
135€ FMH Students

Registration until August 26th. The realization of the course depends on the number of registrations. Please wait for information from the organization regarding the confirmation of your registration.


Pedro Passos

Pedro Passos is Assistant Professor with Aggregation at Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, where he teaches Motor Control and Learning. He graduated in Physical Eduaction and Sports in 1995, took the MSc degree in Sport Psychology in 1999 and the PhD in Sport Sciences in 2008, all in Faculdade de Motricidade Humana. Concerning postgraduate students, he supervised Master and PhD students from the Faculdade de Motricidade Humana and also from other national and international faculties. He has several international peer reviewed publications, books and chapters in books. His research interests are in the area of motor coordination at an intra and interpersonal level of analysis, where currently he is developing the research projects related with the landscapes of possibilities of passing in football, and also with synergies formation in the course of an action.


Harjo de Poel

My research over the last five years focuses on movement interaction, in particular in the context of cyclical movements alongside models of coupled oscillators. The research is mainly instigated by a nonlinear dynamical perspective, specifically the coordination dynamics approach. This focus entails 1) interaction between body parts of one agent, 2) interaction between an agent and environmental sources, and 3) interaction between agents. My official appointment at the Center for Human Movement Sciences is in the area of Sport Sciences. As such, part of my recent research involves sports(-related) tasks. As the majority of sports situations comprise continuous cooperative/competitive coordination between players and/or the relevant social environmental information, my research primarily aim to gain insight into such ‘socio-motor’ interactions and the processes underlying them, and (ultimately) how an agent (cf. athlete) or coach can influence them when seeking to improve (collective) performance.

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