Computational Social Science Research Colloquium /Colloquium in Computational and Data Sciences -The Pedagogy of Zombies: A Case Study of Agent-Based Modeling Competitions for Introducing Complexity, Simulation, and its Real-World Applications – Brant Horio
Computational Social Science Research Colloquium /Colloquium in Computational and Data Sciences
Director, Data Science at LMI/CSS PhD Student
The Pedagogy of Zombies: A Case Study of Agent-Based Modeling Competitions for Introducing Complexity, Simulation, and its Real-World Applications
Friday, October 26, 3:00 p.m.
Center for Social Complexity, 3rd Floor Research Hall
All are welcome to attend.
Abstract: Complexity is pervasive in our daily lives and while academic programs exist to explore, interpret, experiment with, and apply these concepts to better understand the mechanics of our social world, the field is yet to be widely recognized in the mainstream consciousness. Are there engaging instructional methods and tools that can leverage a lower barrier to entry and indoctrinate new scholars into the science of complexity? In this Halloween-themed talk, I present a use case of a simulation modeling competition (and its evolution over several years) that provided preprogrammed agent-based models of a zombie apocalypse. Participants were challenged to explore and formalize human agent behaviors that leveraged their environment and other human agent-agent interactions to hide, evade, and otherwise prevent a grisly human extinction. I will describe the successes and challenges of this experience and a selection of the most creative solutions. I then go on to describe how this competition concept was extended to contemporary challenges that highlighted for participants potential real-world use cases that included combating the zika virus, and fisheries enforcement by the US Coast Guard. I hope for this talk to initiate dialog for how we might continue similar efforts to more easily introduce and propagate the complexity perspective.