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.