In the fall of 2021, we gave out the first Undergraduate Award in Complex Systems from the Rick Riolo Memorial Fund.  The Rick Riolo Memorial Fund (RRMF) was launched in 2018 and honors Research Scientist Rick Riolo, a co-founder of CSCS who passed away in August of 2018. Rick was a pioneer in the science of complex systems and a wonderful, respected mentor to students at the Center for the Study of Complex Systems. The RRMF supports an annual complex systems prize awarded to current undergraduates.Here are the details of the award: 

The Rick Riolo Undergraduate Research Prize

The Rick Riolo Undergraduate Research Prize is awarded for an outstanding research project in the field of complex systems in the amount of $1000. All current UM undergraduates are eligible and can self nominate [with faculty sponsor signature] or be nominated by any member of the CSCS community. The project can be a senior thesis, a research paper, a conference paper or poster, a class project, a UROP project, an empirical analysis, or the development of a computational or mathematical model.   

The breadth of criteria aligns with the intellectual openness of Rick Riolo. An expert in evolutionary modeling and genetic programming, Rick authored more than 80 papers in a variety of fields using a range of computational and analytic techniques.

Award Criteria: recipients must be undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan. 

Application Due Date: Nominations are due the second Monday in October at midnight and can be emailed to The award is decided by the Complex Systems Voting Faculty and the award winner will be announced the second Monday in November. 

Award Amount: 1st Place: $1,000 2nd Place: $500

Number Awarded: Two awards per year to individuals or a groups

Application Format: Nominations take the form of a one paragraph description of the project's origin and contribution to knowledge along with a copy of the project for evaluation. All submissions will need a faculty sponsor signature.

Types of Submissions: Senior thesis, research paper, conference paper or poster,  class project, UROP project, empirical analysis, or the development of a computational or mathematical model.  Include the date and title of the work.

Rick also spent decades teaching complex systems theory and the craft and science of agent-based modeling. Rick was among the most visible and influential researchers, mentors, and instructors in the interdisciplinary field of complex adaptive systems. Rick made time for everyone and encouraged exploratory research.

Rick’s many friends, colleagues, and students have endowed this prize in his honor with the hope that it will encourage students to ask deep questions, experiment with new tools and methodologies, and be guided by a desire for understanding absent disciplinary constraints.

Award details can also be found under 'Undergraduate Awards'

Donations can be made to the Rick Riolo Memorial Fund at any time using the 'Show your Support' box at the top right of the homepage of this website or directly HERE.

Previous related articles:

Cameron Haynes winner of second annual Rick Riolo Memorial Fund Prize!

Andrew Forche wins first ever Rick Riolo Memorial Fund Prize!

The first ever Rick Riolo Memorial Prize will be awarded this November

Summary of the Amazing Giving Blueday of 2018 Kicking off the RRMF

Complex Systems joins UM Giving Blueday to kick off the Rick Riolo Memorial Fund

Announcing the Rick Riolo Memorial Fund

Rick L. Riolo 1950-2018 In Memoriam