Posts by Irina Blumenfeld

Josh Epstein Visits CASL-UCF

Watch Video of Dr. Epstein’s presentation


Joshua Epstein Visits CASL
Joshua Epstein Visits CASL

Abstract: In this colloquium, Dr. Epstein will discuss his pioneering synthesis of agent-based modeling that has led to the development of a new theoretical entity: Agent_Zero. This software individual, or “agent,” is endowed with distinct emotional/affective, cognitive/deliberative, and social modules. Grounded in contemporary neuroscience, these internal components interact to generate observed, often far-from-rational, individual behavior. When multiple agents of this new type move and interact spatially, they collectively generate an astonishing range of dynamics spanning the fields of social conflict, psychology, public health, law, network science, and economics. Epstein weaves a computational tapestry with threads from Plato, Hume, Darwin, Pavlov, Smith, Tolstoy, Marx, James, and Dostoevsky, among others. This transformative synthesis of social philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, and agent-based modeling will fascinate scholars and students of every stripe. Epstein’s computer programs are provided in his latest book or on its Princeton University Press website, along with movies of his “computational parables.” Agent_Zero is a signal departure in what it includes (e.g., a new synthesis of neurally grounded internal modules), what it eschews (e.g., standard behavioral imitation), the phenomena it generates (from genocide to financial panic), and the modeling arsenal it offers the scientific community. For generative social science, Agent_Zero presents a groundbreaking vision and the tools to realize it.

Bio: Dr. Joshua M. Epstein’s research focuses on modeling complex social, economic, and biological systems using agent-based computational models and nonlinear dynamic systems. Dr. Epstein has extensive experience in mathematical and computational modeling of biomedical and social dynamics at all scales – from local to national to planetary. He pioneered the technique of agent-based computational modeling and has applied it to problems in social, behavioral, and biomedical science by modeling economic dynamics, patterns of civil violence, the evolution of norms, the computational reconstruction of the ancient civilization of the Anasazi, and the epidemiology of the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic, smallpox, HIV, and Ebola. To design evacuation and longer-term adaptation to climate change, he combined computational fluid dynamics (i.e. toxic plume dispersion) with human behavior to create a stunning 3D artificial Los Angeles. In response to Zika and in collaboration with colleagues and the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Epstein has developed an artificial New York City to be applied to urban health policy challenges. Dr. Epstein is the Director of the Agent-Based Modeling Lab, which works with large-scale epidemic models and cognitively plausible agents in order to produce a transformative synthesis for global public health modeling through the generative social science approach. Previously, Dr. Epstein has worked at John Hopkins University, Princeton University, University of Pittsburgh, George Mason University, the Sante Fe Institute, and the Brookings Institution. His books include Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up; Generative Social Science: Studies in Agent-Based Computational Modeling; and Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science.

Watch Video of Dr. Epstein’s presentation

UCF MSDA Inaugural Class To Graduate

Congratulations to 2018 Graduates!!!
Charge on data scientists!

News Channel 13: UCF data science program preps students for ‘sexiest job’ of the 21st century

Congratulations to the University of Central Florida Master of Science in Data Analytics Class of 2018, thank you for your hard work over the last 15 months and kudos on becoming the first generation of UCF Data Scientists, Go Knights!

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