ASB 591 / CSE 591 / MAT 598: Computer Simulation in the Social Sciences

Spring 2007

Professor: Marco Janssen

TTH 3:15 - 4:30

COOR L1-64

Course content
Introduction to the use of computer simulation for the study of social phenomena like cooperation, diffusion and foraging. Students will learn the basics of cellular automata and agent-based models, evolutionary programming and networks and how these techniques are used to study social systems in ancient and modern times. Further attention is given how to test simulation models and combine them with other (empirical) methods. Applications in anthropology, political science, geography and psychology are discussed.

Students will work in group projects to apply the techniques to concrete research questions. The groups will consist of both social science and computer science students and the composition will be based on personal interests. For examples of projects see the brief project descriptions of last year.

There is no pre-requisite for this course, although it is helpful if you have some programming experience. If you have not much programming experience you will learn some basic programming in Netlogo . Students with more advanced programming experience, can chose between Netlogo and Repast.

This is an interdisciplinary course where you will get exposed to theories and tools from various social and computational sciences. Students who are not willing to learn to work with students from other disciplines should not sign up for this course.
Course format
Lectures, discussions, group research project, individual programming assignments



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