Social Learning and Social Capital: Socioeconomic Simulations Using Mathematica

Richard J. Gaylord
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Computer simulation provides a powerful theoretical tool for studying human social behavior. In this talk, we'll look at simulation models of social phenomena, using a bottom-up or agent-based approach. This approach differs from traditional socioeconomic modeling in that it assumes that: 1) people are heterogeneous, each having his or her own identity, traits, tastes, and memories; 2) people can think rationally or irrationally, intelligently, or naively; 3) people can directly interact unilaterally or multilaterally without the intervention of a central authority; 4) people can change their behavior as they learn from experience and adapt; and 5) people are mobile and can move around simultaneously or ansynchronously.

We'll develop and discuss simulation models of a variety of social phenomena, including the following.

  • Social Learning
  • Social Capital
  • Nonlocal Phenomena

Richard J. Gaylord is a Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He published over 50 technical articles in the field of theoretical materials physics before going into the field of computer simulations. He has authored Simulating Society: A Mathematica Toolkit for Modeling Socioeconomic Behavior, MODELING NATURE: Cellular Automata Simulations Using Mathematica, Computer Simulations with Mathematica: Explorations in Complex Physical and Biological Systems, and Introduction to Programming with Mathematica