Modelling of Social Phenomena

Fall 2017

Schedule:Tuesdays 1.30pm - 4.20pm
Room:David Rittenhouse Laboratory, 2N36
Instructor:Alexander Funcke
Email:funcke@sas.upenn.edu
Office:313 Claudia Cohen Hall
(no office hours, send me an email to set up an appointment)
Mailing list:Link to MoSP17 (please make sure you are subscribed to the list)

Instructions

Please note that all readings are to be read carefully and critically.

Evaluation

Class participation makes up for 40% of the evaluation for the final grade. In class, students are expected to be present, prepared and engaged. The midterm project will account for 40% of the evalutation and the final paper will account for the remaining 20%.

In the midterm and final projects students are expected to relate their work to the content of the course. I.e., to relate their project to the philosophical literature, incorporate critiques from thier classmates and produce a write up of approximately 10 pages for each of the projects. The papers will be judged as if they were scientific papers, but read generously. That is, they should aim to be scientifically sound, interesting and well-written.

Schedule

Class DateTopic Readings Homework
0 2017-08-29 Introduction
1 2017-09-12 Thomas Schelling's model of segregation Write a paragraph for each of the readings, summarizing its content.
2 2017-09-19
  • Mark Granovetter's model of threshold models
  • Game theory / micro- / macroeconomics - a fly over reminder
Write a paragraph for each of the readings, summarizing its content.
3 2017-09-26 Instrumentalism and Realism Write a paragraph for each of the readings, summarizing its content.
4 2017-10-03 Rhetorics & Sugden's pondering Write a paragraph for each of the readings, summarizing its content.
5 2017-10-10
  • Economics and epidemology: Two case studies
  • Decide topic for the project and plan workshop
Write a paragraph for each of the readings, summarizing its content.
6 2017-10-17
  • Workshop on the phenomena to study
  • Q&A about what the project ought to ential
Read up on the social phenomena, and prepare to present your findings Write a paragraph or two about your view on philosophy of science, with reference to the previous readings
7 2017-10-24 Present first sketch of questions and modeling Outline your first sketch of questions and prepare a presentation.
8 2017-11-07 Present second draft and general workshop Write up a draft of your paper and prepare a presentation.
9 2017-11-14
  • Feedback session
  • How do we know if a model is better than another? (empirically)
Read the other group's corresponding member's outline page
10 2017-11-21
  • Agent-based modelling
  • Instructions for the final paper
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877050914003032
  • Hand in midterm
  • Prepare an answer to: How could you employ ABM to improve your model?
11 2017-11-28
  • Experiments
  • Evolutionary models
http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.polisci.5.091001.170657
  • Prepare an answer to: How could you employ experiments to improve your model?
  • Prepare an answer to: How could you employ evolutionary techniques to improve your model?
12 2017-12-05 Present final models (Group 1) Create a presentation, as if you where to present this for the research community at large
13 2017-12-06 Present final models (Group 2) Create a presentation, as if you where to present this for the research community at large

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