Simulation in the Social Sciences: Progress towards a Computational History?

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Simulation in the Social Sciences: Progress towards a Computational History?

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 27th November 2000
  • Speaker: Alexander Wagner (University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Computer simulations have been of great impact in the physical sciences. Now a new generation of social scientists is widening the use of simulations in Archeology, Sociology and it may possibly even invade the field of History. The usefulness of computational methods in the social sciences has been questioned by many in the humanities, sometimes because of a lack of understanding, sometimes with good reason. From a physicists' viewpoint also there is a lot to be desired in many of the current simulations. Nevertheless, I believe that this field will be very important in the not too distant future. In my talk I shall review some simulation methods that are currently being used and will speculate what would be the most promising use of computers in the future. Sources:
[1] Dynamics in human an primate societies: Agent-based modelling of social and spatial processes. Ed. T.A.Kohler and G.J.Gumermann, Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, OUP (2000). [2] The Santa Fe Institute. [3] Computer Simulation of Societies at Surrey. [4] The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

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