From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence.
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860-0011-00L  Modeling and Simulating Social Systems in MATLAB (or Python) - With Coding Project

SemesterAutumn Semester 2018
LecturersN. Antulov-Fantulin, D. Helbing, L. Aguilar Melgar
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentOnly for Science, Technology, and Policy MSc and MAS.


AbstractThis course introduces mathematical and computational models to study social systems and the process of scientific research.

Students develop a significant project, implementing a model and communicating their results through a seminar thesis and a short oral presentation.
ObjectiveThe students should learn how to use a high level programming environment (MATLAB or Python) as a tool to solve various scientific problems. The use of a high level programming environment makes it possible to quickly find numerical solutions to a wide range of scientific problems. Students will learnt to take advantage of a rich set of tools to present their results numerically and graphically.

After the students have learned the basic structure of the programming language, they should be able to implement social simulation models and document their skills through a seminar thesis and finally give a short oral presentation.
ContentThis course introduces first the basic functionalities and features of the high level programming environments (MATLAB and Python), such as the simple operations with matrices and vectors, differential equations, statistical tools, the graphical representation of data in various forms, and video animations of spatio-temporal data. With this knowledge, students are expected to implement themselves models of various social processes and systems, including agent-based models, e.g. models of interactive decision making, group dynamics, human crowds, or game-theoretical models.

Part of this course will consist of supervised programming exercises. Credit points are finally earned for the implementation of a mathematical model from the sociological literature and the documentation in a seminar thesis.
Lecture notesThe lecture slides will be presented on the course web page after each lecture.
LiteratureLiterature, in particular regarding computer models in the social sciences, will be provided in the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe number of participants is limited to the size of the available computer teaching room. The source code related to the seminar thesis should be well enough documented for further use by others and must be handed over to the Chair of Computational Social Science (COSS) for further free and unrestricted use.