University Catalog 2005-2006

Computational Social Science (CSS)

Center for Social Complexity, Office of the Provost

600 Introduction to Computational Social Science (3:3:0) Graduate-level introduction to computational concepts, principles, and modeling approaches in the social sciences, with an emphasis on simulations and elements of complexity theory as they apply to social phenomena. Survey includes systems dynamics, cellular automata, and agent-based models.

605 Object-Oriented Modeling in Social Science (3:3:0) Prerequisite or co-requisite: CSS 600 or approval by instructor and program director. Presents and applies concepts and principles from the object-based modeling paradigm. Emphasis on the Unified Modeling Language (UML) as a tool for rendering the structure and operation of complex social systems and processes.

610 Computational Analysis of Social Complexity (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600 or permission of instructor. Provides hands-on examination of agent-based models in the social sciences by examining and experimenting with a variety of social-simulation projects conducted in modeling environments such as Swarm, Repast, Ascape, and MASON (Multi-Agent Simulator Of Networks and Neighborhoods)

620 Origins of Social Complexity (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600 or permission of instructor. Examines when, where, and how social complexity first emerged in human societies, with an emphasis on long-term analysis and comparative information processing in four civilizations of the ancient world: West Asia, East Asia, Andean Peru, and Mesoamerica.

625 Complexity Theory in the Social Sciences (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600. Examines social phenomena including language, terrorism, the Internet, warfare, and wealth based on power laws and far-from equilibrium nonlinear dynamics. Emphasis on data analysis, and modeling and interpreting complexity-theoretic dynamics.

630 Comparative Computational Social Science (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600. Application of the comparative method for analyzing different types of computational models in the social sciences. Strong cross-domain and interdisciplinary emphasis akin to comparative economic systems, government, or linguistics.

635 Cognitive Foundations of Computational Social Science (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600, CSS 610, or permission of instructor. Examines cognitive foundations and information processing in computational social agents and compares to comparable human cognitive phenomena, including emotions, trust, and reciprocity. Emphasis on modeling project.

640 Human and Social Evolutionary Complexity (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600, CSS 620, and permission of instructor. Examines the long-term evolution of human and societal complexity from a global, cross-cultural perspective, with an emphasis on computational aspects leading to todayÕs globalization. Global history from the computational social science perspective.

643 Land-Use Modeling Techniques and Applications (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600 or permission of instructor. Survey of literature on spatially explicit empirical models of land-use change. Hands-on experience developing and running simple models. Techniques include statistical models, mathematical programming models, cellular automata, agent-based models, and integrated models.

645 Spatial Agent-Based Models of Human-Environment Interactions (3:3:0): Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600 or permission of instructor. Discusses key challenges in spatial modeling of human-environment interactions. Reviews agent-based modeling applications in urban and rural interactions, agriculture, forestry, and other areas. Hand-on development of simple ABM models, and investigation of linkages between GIS and ABM.

650 Physics Methods for Analyzing Social Complexity (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600 and permission of instructor. Survey of complexity theoretic tools including strange attractors, Ising models, correlation functions, ergodic theory, power spectra, meanfield theory, and renormalization group. Emphasis on application to social, economic, or political systems.

655 Social Systems Dynamics (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600. Introduction to systems dynamics modeling of social systems governed by levels/rates or stocks/flows processes, with applications to global modeling, terrorism, urban dynamics, organizations, and social and international conflict.

660 Computational Social Science of Spacefaring Civilization (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600, 610, and permission of instructor. Focuses on goals, resources, history, and modeling issues concerning human and social dimensions of the space program using CSS. Design and development of socially viable human communities in extreme environments.

692 Social Network Analysis (3:3:0) Prerequisite or corequisite: CSS 600. Methods and applications that examine complex social systems based on relations, structures, connectivity, matrix representations, location, roles, interactions, and other network properties. Applications to terrorism, cognition, organizations, and other social phenomena.

739 Topics in Computational Social Science (3:3:0) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Selected topics in computational social science not covered in fixed-content computational social science courses. May be repeated for credit as needed.

796 Directed Reading and Research (3:3:0) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Reading and research on a specific topic in computational social science under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated as necessary.

798 Research Project (3:0:0) Prerequisites: 12 graduate credits from core requirements and permission of instructor. Project chosen and completed under the guidance of a graduate faculty member, resulting in an acceptable technical report.

799 MasterÕs Thesis (1-6:0:0) Prerequisites: 12 graduate credits from CSS core and permission of instructor. Project chosen and completed under the guidance of a graduate faculty member, resulting in an acceptable technical report (masterÕs thesis) and oral defense. Graded S/IP.

898 Research Colloquium in Computational Social Science (1:1:0) Presentations in specific research areas in computational social science by Center for Social Complexity associated faculty and professional visitors. May be repeated for credit; however, a maximum of 3 credits of CSS 898, 899, and 991 may be applied toward the PhD.

899 Colloquium in Computational Social Science (1:1:0) Presentations in a variety of areas of computational social science by Center for Social Complexity associated faculty and professional visitors. May be repeated for credit; however, a maximum of 3 credits of CSS 898, 899, and 991 may be applied toward the PhD.

 909 Advanced Topics in Computational Social Science (3:3:0) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Covers selected topics in computational social science and socioinformatics not covered in fixed-content courses. May be repeated for credit as necessary.

996 Doctoral Reading and Research (1-12:0:0) Prerequisites: admission to doctoral program and permission of instructor. Reading and research on a specific topic in computational social science under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated as necessary.

998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal (1-12:0:0) Prerequisite: permission of advisor. Covers development of a research proposal, which forms the basis for a doctoral dissertation, under the guidance of the dissertation director and doctoral committee. May be repeated as needed; however, no more than 12 credits of CSS 998 may be applied toward satisfying doctoral degree requirements.

999 Doctoral Dissertation (1-12:0:0) Prerequisite: approval of dissertation proposal. Doctoral dissertation research under the direction of dissertation director. May be repeated as needed; however, no more than 24 credits in CSS 998 and 999 may be applied toward satisfying doctoral degree requirements.