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ASU SCAS Hosts a Joint Spring School with Math+ Cluster Berlin

March 15, 2023

In March 2023, when most ASU students were on Spring Break, an interdisciplinary and international group of scholars gathered at the ASU Tempe campus to study agent-based modeling and complexity science. Professors Christof Schütte and Sarah Wolf, along with their graduate students, came from Berlin to collaborate with ASU faculty and students at the School of Complex Adaptive Systems (SCAS). The goal of the program was to develop a common language and practice set for agent-based modeling, and foster collaboration between early career professionals at ASU and in Berlin.

The program lasted for five days with various presentations by faculty and lots of time for teamwork amongst students. Every morning started with an interactive lecture and every afternoon was reserved for students to work in small groups on their assigned projects. The lectures covered the fundamental processes and theories behind agent-based modeling, such as Markov chains and jumps, stochastic differential equations, and sensitivity analysis. Additionally, the faculty members from ASU and Berlin provided four options of existing agent-based models for students to work on and adapt for their purposes in small groups.

Every student group was unique in composition with varied familiarity with agent-based modeling, which made the collaborative environment very positive and engaging for all those present. On Friday, March 10, each student group presented their adaptations to the agent-based models. Many students expressed how positive the Spring School experience was, citing the value found in it not being strictly a modeling course but rather a friendly and collaborative learning environment.


Photo credit: Trish Yasolsky