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August 22, 2010

Fall 2010, CSCI 7000-003

This Fall, as is customary for new faculty in my department, I'm teaching a section of Current Topics in Computer Science. This series is basically the CS department's vehicle for advanced topics at the graduate level. I'll be posting my lecture notes, problem sets and class readings on the class webpage, if anyone here is interested in that material. Here's a short ad for the course:

CSCI 7000-003 Inference, Models and Simulation for Complex Systems

First meeting is in MUEN E114 on Tuesday, August 24, 11:00am.

This graduate-level topics course will cover a selection of recent developments in computational approaches to doing science with complex systems. It is not a scientific computing course. Topics will include statistical inference, the structure of complex networks, macro-phenomena in biological evolution and in wars and terrorism, simple mathematical models, and simulation techniques for more complicated models. The focus will be on using computational tools (algorithms) to do science (work with data; test hypotheses; build understanding; make predictions). The first half of the class will be driven by lectures and problem sets. The second half will revolve around student-run lectures and an independent research project.

I should add that this will be a rather biased (and in no way even remotely complete) selection of "recent developments", with the bias going heavily in the direction of stuff I like and find useful. Much of the material will be drawn from my own research, although at least in the beginning I'm going to pare some things down to a more introductory level. The second half of the course will be an adventure, with the student-led lectures on topics of (largely) their choosing.

posted August 22, 2010 11:17 AM in Teaching | permalink


It will be interesting to see your notes in comparison to how I organized things in my summer networks course (and in particular the difference in perspectives).

Posted by: Mason Porter at August 22, 2010 01:23 PM

Well, considering that I plan to crib from many people's existing notes online, there might be more overlap than you expect! Also, networks will end up being a pretty big part of the class, but I'm happy to say not all of it. I'm going to try to talk about dynamics and stochastic processes as they relate to non-network complex systems, too.

Posted by: Aaron at August 22, 2010 05:32 PM

I didn't put my notes online because they borrow *way* too much from others for me to justify authorship. This is just fine for teaching material to people with private notes because the point is pure teaching, but there will necessary be huge modifications in presentation before I am comfortable posting it in a public spot (and ultimately turning it into a book).

Posted by: Mason Porter at August 24, 2010 02:53 PM