Course: Agent-Based Modelling for the Social Scientist (Surrey)

Agent-Based Modelling for the Social Scientist –
A Practical Guide to Model Building and NetLogo

8th-11th June 2015, Centre for Research in Social Simulation, School of Social Science, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
Computational methods have revolutionised the sciences, including the social sciences. By being able to investigate dynamics in silico, model complex, interdependent systems and experiment with different hypotheses, computer modelling has become a research tool as important as the survey.

Course Summary
This course will guide you through the research process of agent-based modelling in the social sciences: formulating a research question, specifying a model, creating a simulation and interpreting the output. During the course you will be helped to build a model using NetLogo, acquiring basic and intermediate programming skills.

Course Objectives
The syllabus includes:
• conceptualising agent-based models
• operationalising and calibrating from data
• experimenting and analysing
• interpreting models
• verifying and validating

Each step of the research process will be complemented by:
a. Hands-on sessions of model building in NetLogo, a widely used and powerful language for social science modelling. The sessions are designed in such a way that you will understand the structure of a model and learn to write the program code yourself.
b. Model development sessions. These sessions will facilitate the development of a model relevant to your research, from conception through specification to first steps of implementation.
At the end of this course you will be able to see the world through modeller’s eyes and start programming your own agent-based models.

Students/PhD £200, higher education staff £400, others £800. The course is part of the ESRC Advanced Training Initiative; three bursaries for non-DTC South East PhD students are available, covering fees and some travel. To apply please send a brief report from your supervisor/manager about the relevance of the course for your work and a statement why you need financial support attend. Deadline for bursary application 8th of May 2015.
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