Just a reminder for local folks, that our Spring semester series kicks off today with a talk by Claudio Cioffi, who heads up the Institute’s Center for Social Complexity. Please join us if you are in the area.
From Nature Magazine, the link is here. Money quote:
Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, a computer social scientist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, welcomes cliodynamics as a natural complement to his own field: doing simulations using ‘agent-based’ computer models. Cioffi-Revilla and his team are developing one such model to capture the effects of modern-day climate change on the Rift Valley region in East Africa, a populous area that is in the grip of a drought. The model starts with a series of digital agents representing households and allows them to interact, following rules such as seasonal migration patterns and ethnic alliances. The researchers have already seen labour specialization and vulnerability to drought emerge spontaneously, and they hope eventually to be able to predict flows of refugees and identify potential conflict hotspots. Cioffi-Revilla says that cliodynamics could strengthen the model by providing the agents with rules extracted from historical data.
Having just won a hard-fought competition for a coveted MURI (Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative) award from the Department of Defense.
Quoting from DOD: