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Sociology 537

Modeling Emergence: Social Simulation

Professor James Kitts
Office: Savery 121G
Office Hours: By Appointment
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Class Meeting Time and Location:
Thursday, 3:30-5:20

     Mary Gates Hall, Room 242

Monday, 5:30-6:30
     Savery Hall, Room 137

Social scientists are increasingly using computer simulation to investigate the dynamics and emergent properties of social systems. Recent projects have modeled macro-phenomena, from technology standards in industry to military alliances between nations, as well as micro-phenomena, from neighborhood segregation to conformity in peer groups. As we survey a set of case studies in social simulation, we will scrutinize the design of computational experiments. We will focus primarily on agent-based simulation, with a brief introduction to some more traditional modeling approaches (including closed-form analytic solutions and system-level simulation). Students must share an interest in abstract theory, but do not need any specialized training or experience in mathematics or computer science for this course. 




There are no prerequisites for this class, but see here for an orientation to the elementary skills that you will find helpful.