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Oxford’s Ken Kahn at Friday colloquium

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The Computational Social Science Research Colloquium /Colloquium in Computational and Data Sciences speaker for Friday, October 19 will be Ken Kahn, Senior Researcher, Computing Services, University of Oxford. Dr. Kahn’s talk entitled “Agent-based Modelling for Everyone” (abstract below) is scheduled to begin at 3:00 in the Center for Social Complexity Suite located on the 3rd floor of Research Hall. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session along with light refreshments.

This session will be live-streamed on the YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7YCR-pBTZ_9865orDNVHNA

For announcements regarding this and future streams, please join the CSS/CDS student and alumni Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/257383120973297/

For a list of upcoming and previous seminars, please visit: https://cos.gmu.edu/cds/calendar/

We hope to see you on Friday, October 19th.

Abstract: Agent-based models (ABMs) can be made accessible to a wide audience. A wonderful example is the Parable of the Polygons (https://ncase.me/polygons/) based upon Schelling’s segregation model. The challenge isn’t simply to provide an interactive simulation to the general public but to convey how the model works and what assumptions underlie it. The speaker has been involved in three efforts to do more than make the models but understandable but also to enable people without computer programming experience to get a hands-on understanding of the process of modelling. One project attempted to model the 1918 Pandemic in a modular fashion so learners could understand and modify the model. Another was the Epidemic Game Maker which was created for a Royal Society science exhibition. Finally a generic browser-based system for creating ABMs by composing and customising pre-built “micro-behaviours” will be described. All of these systems will be demonstrated.

Bio: Ken Kahn is a researcher at the University of Oxford. He led the Modelling4All Project (modelling4all.org) for ten years. He built the Behaviour Composer which provides a high-level interface to NetLogo.